Is San Diego In A Recession?

For the first time in a long time, unemployment in San Diego is higher than the national average.

Additionally, the economic picture for San Diego County is not a pretty one.

It's the word no one likes to hear, but it has to be asked.

Is San Diego in a recession?

"Right now, we may not technically be in a recession, but job growth has slowed to a crawl. To a lot of people, it may feel like a recession," said Alan Gin, an economics professor at the University of San Diego.

The major culprit in a weak economy is, Gin said, "The biggest problem is the housing market. Prices are falling, sales are down and there are more foreclosures."

How depressed is the housing market?

One home price you might not believe is a Logan Heights house selling for $65,000.

It may not be anyone's dream home. It's about 528 sq. ft. with what are described as some structural issues.

It is a foreclosure, reduced from a previous price of $181,000.

Right now, it is the lowest priced detached home listed on the market in San Diego.

Not typical, but when was the last time a house in San Diego was listed for $65,000?

Consumers know gas prices are high but at a station in Pacific Beach it is $3.93 -- for regular unleaded.

Gin figures every 10 cent increase in a gallon of gas takes $7 million a month out of the local economy.

"People are spending on gas when they could be spending money to go out to eat or buying clothes," said Gin.

Experts said one positive is that the tourism industry in San Diego is holding up fairly well.

Gin said he expects slow growth for the rest of 2008.

Gin also said it is possible that San Diego entered an economic downturn before the rest of the country, so local consumers might see an up tick before the rest of the country.

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