Local business outlook for 2014 appears bright

USD professor sees low unemployment, 25K new jobs

SAN DIEGO - Things are about to start turning around for San Diego in 2014. That's according to a local economist. But Alan Gin told 10News there's one major problem standing in the way of having a breakout year, and there doesn't appear to be a solution.

Nikki Truitt and her husband both own small businesses. She said one of the biggest challenges is finding and retaining talent because the cost of living is so expensive. “We've been at a high level of uncertainty for the last year," she said, "and we feel like that's going to continue.”

University of San Diego professor of economics Alan Gin said one need only look up at the sky to understand why. “A day like today illustrates why it's so expensive to live here,” Gin said. Gabe Guillen told us, “Chicago's negative what, 30 degrees? And I'm in shorts and a T-shirt.”

But the sunshine can't pay your bills, Truitt said. “Many of my friends in the last couple years have left the San Diego region for Texas and Colorado.”

Despite Texas poaching our talent and businesses, Gin is optimistic. “I think overall the local economy is in good shape.”

Gin was one of the experts at a forum held Friday at USD that talked about the year ahead for San Diego. Gin believes the city’s economy will outperform the national economy, with the unemployment rate dropping below 6 percent and 25,000 jobs added. Why such optimism? “We've got some momentum in the local economy," he said. "We've got some job growth which tends to feed on itself, people have more income, they tend to spend more money.”

For now, despite all the uncertainties that come with owning a small business, Truitt will keep her roots in San Diego. “For my family in particular, I'm quite optimistic,” she said.

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