The San Diego Chamber of Commerce's monthly business outlook index plunged to the lowest level in its three-year history, with less than one in five members surveyed expected to hire more employees in the near future.
In the survey taken in the last two weeks of October, more than 200 chamber members were asked questions about their business expectations over the next few months, including hiring. Only 16 percent expected to add employees during the period. The category had never been below 25 percent.
"October has traditionally been a weaker month and we have seen this declined sentiment growing for some time. But I am optimistic that what we are witnessing this month is businesses taking a more wait-and-see approach and we'll see a rebalanced and more positive outlook in the coming month," said Dino D'Auria, executive vice president and chief banking officer at Silvergate Bank, which sponsors the survey.