Businesses in San Diego County tend to be relatively optimistic about trends in 2014, according to a survey sponsored by Silvergate Bank.
The survey suggests that most business owners feel that conditions in their industry will improve over the next three months and that they will not pull back on workforce growth or employee hours.
The survey was conducted last month by Competitive Edge Research, using responses from 208 randomly selected members of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and the East County Chamber of Commerce.
The most optimistic industry on the list consisted of home improvement and gardening stores, which have benefited from the recent rise in home sales. Home improvement stores added 200 workers over the past year.
Other industries with a strong positive outlook included law offices; gyms, spas and salons; financial firms; software specialists; business and staffing consultants; and real estate brokerages.
“I think we saw a fair amount of optimism in December which has carried over into January,” said Alan Lane, president and CEO of Silvergate Bank.”
But manufacturers continued to be pessimistic, with a dismal -2 rating on Silvergate's Business Outlook Index. Over the past year, manufacturers in San Diego County shed 1,600 jobs, or 1.7 percent of their workforce. Manufacturing and publishing, which axed 400 workers, were the only major industries to cut a significant number of jobs last year.
In general, San Diego County had a relatively strong growth rate last year of 1.8 percent, adding 22,300 new jobs and bringing the jobless rate down from 8.2 percent in December 2012 to 6.4 percent in December 2014.
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