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County Unemployment Down in October

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Aired 11/19/10

San Diego County added 5,600 nonfarm jobs in October, according to data released by the state’s employment development office Friday.

— San Diego County added 5,600 nonfarm jobs in October, according to data released by the state’s employment development office Friday.

The regional unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent, the lowest the county has seen since May. That decrease was due not only to an increase in local-government hiring, which accounted for 5,400 new jobs, but also the fact that the county’s pool of available workers dropped for the third straight month.

The bulk of local government workers hired in October were for education jobs. Nongovernment-education workers and health workers accounted for another big gain -- 2,200 jobs were added in those industries.

The beginning of the school year always brings a jump in new jobs, according to Dr. Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University.

“If you look at just the normal increase, that was actually a little bit less than what normally takes place,” she said. “And as a result, the job market was actually pretty flat in October.”

Analysts were predicting improved holiday hiring this season compared to recent years. But the sector added just 200 jobs in October.

“I would have expected to see a few more in October,” Reaser said. “But we’ll probably see more in November and maybe December.”

The county added about 3,000 seasonal-retail positions between October and December last year.

The leisure and hospitality industries shed 3,400 jobs, while arts, entertainment and recreation lost 1,300.

Overall about 20,000 more county residents reported that they were employed in October compared to a year before. The county’s labor force grew by 16,700 workers over the same period.

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