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The average annual wage in the county was $38,148 in 2001 and rose 28% to $48,802 last year, reports economist Kelly Cunningham of the National University System Institute for Policy Research, who has culled the latest numbers from the California Employment Development Department. However, inflation wiped way the entire 28% gain, and then some. Inflation-adjusted, wages dropped 0.4% in the decade. Cunningham estimates that one in five San Diegans in 2010 were either unemployed or underemployed (working part-time because they can't find full-time work.) That compares with 18% in the U.S. and 22.1% in California.

In 2001, manufacturing jobs, which pay 20% or more than average jobs, were 9.7% of local employment. By 2010, that was down to 7.5%. Over the period, construction jobs dropped from 6.1% of the total to 4.5%. Over the decade, high wage jobs declined 2.1% while low wage jobs rose 1.2%.

San Diego total employment in 2010 was the same as in 2001, despite a gain in population. It's not likely that the San Diego unemployment rate will get back to the full employment level (below 5%) by 2020, says Cunningham.

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