The jobs picture in California has been much grimmer than for the country as a whole.
On Thursday, Governor Jerry Brown and lawmakers in Sacramento announced they've reached a bipartisan deal on a jobs plan that would lower taxes on California's small business community, and close a loophole that benefits out-of-state corporations.
Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher (R-San Diego) estimates the deal will result in $1 billion in permanent tax relief to small businesses and the families they support.
"We have to do everything possible to make California a more competitive place to create jobs," Fletcher said.
New data suggests there's already a glimmer of light in San Diego County.
The volume number of job postings in the San Diego region reached a three-year high last month -- upwards of 70,000 at a time when more than double that number of people are receiving unemployment benefits.
That sunny news does come with a qualifier: "There are a lot of high-tech jobs that are available, so some of those jobs require some very specific skills, said Gary Moss, labor market analyst for the public-private San Diego Workforce Partnership.
Moss cited opportunities in software development, telecommunications engineering, and the defense industry.
Whatever their skills, job-seekers are pretty jazzed.
"It's encouraging," said Nola Glen, a Bay Park resident. "No matter who's getting hired in that position, it's good news. Because it'll boomerang down to what I might do for work."
Glen, who devoted Thursday morning to sending out online job applications at the Workforce Partnership's metro job center in City Heights, has been applying for office-staff jobs for months.
"I've had a few temp positions, which was great," Glen said. "Today, I'm here, in fact, to do some testing on the computer for a permanent position."
Temp positions in hospital maintenance work are what's been keeping North Park resident Reginald Arbuthnot going lately.
He said reports of a relative glut of job openings are welcome, indeed.
"That gives me a lot of hope, because I see a lot of people working now that weren't working when I was working for the last four years," Arbuthnot said, before resuming his online search for work. "So that tells me that San Diego's job market is picking up."
But this newfound optimism should be tempered with caution, Moss said.
"It's going to be a slow growth," Moss predicted. "We need a lot of jobs to make up for all the over-200,000 jobs we've lost in the past four or five years."
The state measure is helping to bolster spirits.
The proposal "puts us on a level playing field with other forward-thinking states," said Carl Hull, president and CEO of San Diego-based Gen-Probe,
Added Danielle Harsh Stiritz, owner of San Diego's BatterUp! Cupcakes, "This is a commonsense measure. It is imperative that we help California companies create jobs and put people back to work."