Agrees Skip Hull, vice president of CIC Research, “Discretionary leisure travel depends on spending, and you have to have jobs to have income for travel.” And most economists believe that U.S. unemployment will remain high all year. Potential visitors won’t have the funds, and companies slash travel, including convention attendance, in bad times. “I hope I am wrong, but I expect a flat year — bumping along a bottom. We might get some growth in the third and fourth quarters, but it would be modest. Our hopes are pinned on 2011, but it will take a couple of years beyond 2011” for San Diego to get back to levels before the industry took a big pratfall.
Ah, but there is some good news. Gin predicts San Diego will add 2000 to 3000 jobs this year. That doesn’t sound like much, since total nonfarm employment is 1.25 million. But some other economists are predicting further job shrinkage, says Gin.