San Diego County, like the state of California continues to struggle through the current recession. Unemployment in San Diego is currently at 10.6%, up 112% from 2008. This huge rate increase necessitated unemployment payments of over $129 million in 2009. The housing market in San Diego, once crucial to the local economy, bottomed out with foreclosures increasing by 353%. Tourism, the third largest segment of San Diego’s economy that brings more than $5.6 billion in annual revenues, is down an estimated 12%. Moreover, the high cost of living caused homelessness and hunger to rapidly increase, with food program usage up 16% in 2009.
ARRA funding responded to the needs of San Diego County public and private sectors, enabling them to fiscally survive the state recession, stimulating the economy through shovel ready projects in the transportation and technology sectors, and saving jobs in the education and health and human sectors. However, in comparing ARRA funding to the foreclosure rates and unemployment rates in the county, research shows that although ARRA aided certain populations, it did not serve all neighborhoods equitably. Moreover, ARRA missed out on opportunities to heavily invest in workforce development and job training.
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