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Daily Business Report-Dec. 20, 2013

Daily Business Report-Dec. 20, 2013

County Jobless Rate Drops to 6.8 Percent

Nonfarm employment up by 8,500 jobs over

the month and up 23,000 jobs over the year

The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 6.8 percent in November, down from a revised 7.1 percent in October 2013, and below the year-ago estimate of 8.3 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported today.  This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 8.3 percent for California and 6.6 percent for the nation during the same period.

Between October 2013 and November 2013:

Total nonfarm employment increased from 1,295,700 to 1,304,200, a gain of 8,500 jobs. Agricultural employment declined by 400 jobs, or 4.1 percent.

• Trade, transportation, and utilities posted the greatest month-over gain, adding 7,200 jobs. Retail trade (up 6,200) accounted for more than 85 percent of the job growth in this sector, primarily from clothing stores (up 2,700) and department stores (up 1,800).Transportation, warehousing, and utilities added 600 jobs, followed by a gain of 400 jobs in wholesale trade.

• Five other industries also gained jobs over the month. The most notable job growth came from government (up 2,200), mainly from state government education and local government education.

• Three nonfarm sectors recorded month-over job losses: professional and business services (down 1,300); leisure and hospitality (down 1,200); and manufacturing (down 200).

Between November 2012 and November 2013:

Total nonfarm employment increased by 23,000 jobs, or 1.8 percent. Agricultural employment declined by 100 jobs, or 1.1 percent.

• Educational and health services reported the greatest year-over gain, adding 6,100 jobs. Health care and social assistance (up 4,500) contributed to roughly 74 percent of the job growth in this sector, mostly from ambulatory health care services (up 3,200 jobs). Educational services increased by 1,600 jobs.

• Six other sectors also added jobs over the year. The most significant employment growth came from trade, transportation, and utilities (up 5,700); leisure and hospitality (up 5,600); and construction (up 5,300).

• Three other nonfarm industries posted year-over job losses: manufacturing (down 2,000); financial activities (down 600); and information (down 300).

Aerotropolis concept

Aerotropolis concept

East and South County EDCs Awarded $40K

Grant to Develop ‘Aerotropolis’ Plan for Airports

The East County EDC and South County EDC have received a $40,000 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration to develop an “Aerotropolis” plan focusing on the areas surrounding Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon and Brown Field Municipal Airport. The Aerotropolis concept is also known as an airport city where the layout, infrastructure and economy is centered on an airport as an economic engine.

“Gillespie and Brown fields are already economic catalysts in their respective regions,” said Jo Marie Diamond, East County EDC president. “The funding from the EDA will help us map out how to best maximize these economic drivers as we move forward with Aerotropolis development.”

Currently, Gillespie Field contributes more than $400 million and nearly 3,200 jobs locally, according to Diamond. Plans for phased construction at Brown Field are projected to create 4,000 permanent jobs and contribute more than $500 million annually to local economy, she said.

The agencies will begin forming a joint steering committee with the planning expected to begin in January.

According to the last census, the combined average unemployment rate for the areas that could be affected by the Aerotropolis is 10.73 percent. As part of the funding and Aerotropolis Plan development, East and South County EDCs will conduct research to identify and define which industry clusters and types of development will stimulate economic development, spur investment and increase the number of higher paying jobs to the distressed areas.

“Studies have shown that the industries we’re looking to target with the Aerotropolis will bring middle- to high-paying jobs, giving residents here the opportunity to have a better quality of life,” said Cindy Gompper-Graves, South County EDC president and CEO. Potential affected industries include manufacturing, logistics/distribution, research and development, hotels/convention, among others, she said.

San Diego North Chamber to Launch

New Name and Brand Identity Next Year

The San Diego North Chamber of Commerce has an identity perception problem. It has hired BottomLine Marketing, a branding company, to develop a new name, logo and brand identity for launching next May.

“We’re reviewing our brand identity and name because the San Diego North Chamber has experienced some challenges with the word ‘North,’” said Debra Rosen, president and CEO of the chamber. “The word ‘North’ is defined differently by the many groups using it in the North County. Each group has its defined geographic area and none go as far south to (Route) 52 as the San Diego North Chamber.”

According to Rosen, use of the word “North” gives some the impression that the chamber serves the far north regions, while more than 50 percent of its membership is in San Diego County.

As part of the overall effort, broad business feedback is being sought. A survey is being sent to chamber members and nonmembers  to get opinions on the perception of the chamber’s identity and range of services.

Free Parking Expanding to Two Hours at Downtown Library

Free parking at the downtown San Diego Central Library will be extended from one hour to two hours with the new year, Interim Mayor Todd Gloria said Thursday. Parking had been free for the first two months after the library opened in September. Since then, the city allowed one free hour, then $1.25 every 20 minutes.

Gloria said at his weekly news briefing that it appears most people who park at libraries citywide do so for about an hour. Starting Jan. 2, Downtown library patrons will get two free hours before being charged, he said.

“But let’s face it, the new library is pretty awesome and we should be encouraging folks to stick around and enjoy it and check it out,” Gloria said.

He said the city would monitor garage usage and listen to visitor feedback. — City News Service

SDSU Writers’ Conference Jan. 24-26

Eriq La Salle, best known to television audiences for portrayal of Dr. Peter Benton on “ER,” will speak and join the author panels during the 30th anniversary of the SDSU Writers’ Conference on Jan. 24-26 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Mission Valley. La Salle published his debut novel, “Laws of Depravity,” and is set to release his second book in the series, the thriller “Laws of Wrath.”

Among the panelists joining La Salle at the SDSU Writers’ Conference will be New York Times best-selling authors Joseph Wambaugh Jr. and Victor Villaseñor. Keynote speaker Sylvia Day will deliver her message on Saturday, Jan. 25. For more information, call (619) 594-3946 or visit

SD Sports Innovators Adds to Advisory Board

SD Sport Innovators, the business accelerator that established the sports and active lifestyle industry as a growing economic cluster, has added four new members to its advisory board. They are Kevin Dusi, senior tax manager at Moss Adams LLP; Mike Gotfredson Jr., senior director of e-commerce at Road Runner Sports; Robyn Stuhr, sports medicine program director at UC San Diego Health System’s Department of Orthopedic Surgery; and Carl Thomas, CEO of X-1 Audio Inc.

KevinDusi joined Moss Adams LLP in 2005 and serves clients in the action sports, apparel and manufacturing industries.

Mike Gotfredson has been associated in a professional capacity with Road Runner Sports for the past 10 years.

Carl Thomas was appointed CEO of X-1 Audio Inc. (formerly H2O Audio) in January 2012, while continuing his role as a board member (since 2010).

Robyn Stuhr coordinates a team of sports medicine specialists including fellowship trained orthopedic surgeons (in every discipline), as well as primary care and physical medicine/rehab doctors.

For Those Who Love Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

The popular grilled cheese sandwich

The popular grilled cheese sandwich

For those who salivate for grilled cheese sandwiches, look no farther than the Cheesy Express, a grilled cheese sandwich restaurant that is scheduled to open Jan. 6 at 3219 Mission Blvd. in Mission Beach. According to owner Jason Daung, the menu will vary from Mom’s Classic ($4) grilled cheese to the popular BBQ and Mac ($6.75), which consists of Kansas City-styled barbecue pork, Mac-N-Cheese and caramelized onions, all topped with cheddar and American cheese. The restaurant also will offer the “Make Your Own” sandwiches starting at $3.49. Daung says the sandwich shop will “bring out the inner child in customers of all ages.”

24/7 Library Kiosk to Open

The county of San Diego is scheduled to open a library kiosk in Kearny Mesa today that will dispense hundreds of books and movies to library card-holders. The “24/7 Library To Go” is the first of its kind on the West Coast and second in the U.S., according to county officials.

It will store more than 400 books and DVDs, much like a movie box at grocery stores, and be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The county said patrons can also gain access to the library’s catalog and databases, reserve books for pickup at a county library branch or bookmobile, and pay late fees. — City News Service

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We Want Your Opinions on San Diego’s Big Issues In the coming months, Probosky Research (one of California’s leading opinion research firms) will continue its partnership with SD METRO to survey San Diego residents about topics of interest to our readers. We’d like to throw open the door for suggestions for topics. What do you want to know? What do you think you know, but aren’t sure? What are you certain you know, but want to prove it beyond doubt? Ideally, we’d like to see questions that have to do with public policy.

Some areas may include Mayor Filner’s first 100 days job performance, should the city be responsible for economic growth and the creation of new jobs, how important are infrastructure improvements to our daily lives (streets and bridges, etc.), how important is water independence, how satisfied are residents with public transit or how do city residents value Balboa Park and other open spaces? Do you believe the City Council should revive the Plaza de Panama plan for Balboa Park?

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