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Week in Review



Quote of the Week

‘Even though we may lose some companies, nobody’s leaving San Diego. Biotech executives don’t leave, they tend to go out and start other companies.’

, Rich Mejia, director of life sciences for Southern California at Ernst & Young.

Click here for the story.


Friday, June 15


Leisure Creates Jobs:

San Diego’s unemployment rate edged up to 4.2 percent in May from 4.1 percent in April, but that was still below the unemployment rate for California (4.9 percent) and the nation (4.3 percent), according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

The region showed a net gain of 2,400 jobs last month to bring non-farm employment to 1.3 million.

However, the unemployment rate rose because 900 more workers filed unemployment claims during the month, bringing the total to 63,800. The rate is a percentage of the total civilian work force of 1.5 million, according to the EDD report.

The segment called professional, scientific and technical services, which includes temporary staffing companies, contracted by 1,300 jobs during the month.

The largest contributor to the overall gain was leisure and hospitality, which added 2,000 jobs, nearly all of which were in the accommodations and food services category.

The second largest segment boosting local employment rolls was retail, which added 1,100 positions.

, Mike Allen


Tuesday, June 19


Hot Commodity?:

Sempra Commodities, a unit of San Diego-based Sempra Energy, may be on the block, according to a Reuters story published June 19.

The unit, which has 850 employees, mostly in Connecticut, is reportedly being sold to the Royal Bank of Scotland, according to a story that quoted an anonymous source.

Doug Kline, spokesman for Sempra Energy, said he was unable to confirm or deny the story. “We have a policy of not commenting on rumors or speculation,” Kline said.

The Reuters story said in November, Sempra CFO Mark Snell said Sempra Commodities would be inclined to take on a partner to expand the unit’s lines of credit and provide it with additional capital to grow.

Last year, the unit contributed $504 million in net income or 36 percent to Sempra Energy’s total net income of $1.4 billion.

The commodities unit trades in natural gas, oil and industrial metals. Sempra acquired the metals trading business in 2002 from Enron Corp. after the Houston company filed for bankruptcy.

, Mike Allen

– – –


Security Strategy:

Iomega Corp., a San Diego-based maker of Zip drives and other data storage devices, has joined a partnership with Postini, a provider of security protection for e-mail and instant messaging, the companies announced.

The move is touted as another step in Iomega’s transformation from a device manufacturer to more of a managed services company, providing data protection services to small- and medium-sized businesses through the outsourcing of its technology.

With the agreement, Iomega delivers Postini’s security and compliance software using Iomega’s resale and distribution channels. Next month, Tech Data Corp., a large distributor of technology products, plans to offer customers Iomega OfficeScreen, a managed security program powered by Postini.

Iomega didn’t say how much in estimated revenue it hopes to generate from the agreement.

, Mike Allen


Wednesday, June 20


Institute’s Index Falls:

San Diego’s economy continues to lag compared with where it was a year ago, according to a report from the San Diego Institute for Policy Research, a privately funded think tank.

While three of five measurements of an economic index increased in April from March, all five showed declines when compared with the index of April 2006.

The three segments that increased during the month were consumer confidence, the local stock index and new business licenses. The two indicators that declined were construction and unemployment. The latter rate for the region was up in April, and measured as a negative.

While consumers felt their financial situations improved during the month, their views of the region’s economic health declined, the SDI survey found.

“Record high gas prices and continued sluggishness in the housing market may be souring the outlook,” said Kelly Cunningham, senior fellow economist for SDI, described as an organization to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the region’s public sector. The institute is funded by former San Diego mayoral candidate Steve Francis.

, Mike Allen

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