Coast cities faring better with unemployment rates

COAST CITIES — Encinitas’ unemployment rate in November was 5.9 percent, the lowest since January 2009, according to the California Employment Development Department. 

The jobless rate has been on the decline since June, when it was at 6.6 percent.

This November, 2,400 people were out of work in a labor force of 39,900. The numbers are not seasonally adjusted, so an increase in retail hiring for the holiday season was not taken into account.

At the same time last year, unemployment was 6.7 percent in Encinitas.

San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3 in November, the lowest it’s been since it was at 7.4 percent in December 2008.

Like other coastal cities in North County, Encinitas’ unemployment rate is lower than inland areas.

Carlsbad’s rate in November declined to 5.5 percent, Solana Beach was 5.7 percent, Del Mar was 4.3 percent and Oceanside was 7.9 percent. Respectively, Vista clocked in at 9.3 percent, Escondido was 8.7 percent and San Marcos was 8.3 percent.

Alan Gin, an economist at the University of San Diego, said coastal cities have weathered the recession better than inland areas. Unsurprising to many, cities such as Encinitas tend to be more affluent and property values are higher in those areas.

“There aren’t as many foreclosures, for example,” Gin said. “Those really hurt local economies.”

Gin said retail hiring for the holiday season explains many of the job gains countywide. Clothing and clothing accessory stores added 6,700 jobs. Although some of those jobs might not last for more than a few months, Gin said the report is still encouraging because retail hiring was up compared to last year.

“That’s a sign consumers are more confident spending their money,” Gin said. “And employers are more confident hiring help.”

However, Gin said hiring slowed down for other job sectors compared to October, a possible reaction to uncertainties brought on by the so-called fiscal cliff.

“They don’t like uncertainty and the prospect of higher taxes,” Gin said.




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