Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations
KPBS Evening Edition

New Report Shows San Diego Unemployment Rate Climbs To 14.2%

A client walks out of San Diego County's unemployment office in this undated photo.
KPBS Staff
A client walks out of San Diego County's unemployment office in this undated photo.

The estimated unemployment rate in San Diego County has climbed to 14.2%, following a two-week decline, a report released Wednesday by the San Diego Association of Governments found.

Unemployment has slowly but fairly consistently declined from the high of 25% the week of May 9, with a noticeable spike from 15.1% to 17.4% in early July in part due to closure of indoor businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

New Report Shows San Diego Unemployment Rate Climbs To 14.2%
Listen to this story by Tania Thorne.

While the region has recovered somewhat from those closure orders, the 14.2% figure SANDAG reported Wednesday is nearly 4 points higher than at the height of the Great Recession in 2009-10.

That unemployment rate includes an estimated 242,000 workers, compared to the approximately 50,000 people out of work — or 3.1% — before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The hardest-hit ZIP codes largely remain unchanged from previous reports, with San Diego's Logan Heights neighborhood topping of the list at 18.9% unemployed. Neighborhoods such as Golden Hill, City Heights, the College area and San Ysidro, as well as portions of Vista, Oceanside, Escondido and National City all reported unemployment rates of 15.7% or higher.

These estimates are based on unemployment insurance claims, unemployment insurance payments and unemployment statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

SANDAG Chief Economist Ray Major said the increase is due to job availability not happening fast enough.

“The disturbing part is that we’re not going back to work very quickly and so the numbers have stalled between the 14-15% range," he said.

Major said many people out of work due to the pandemic may have to consider retraining in other industries.

The ZIP codes least affected, with unemployment rates just under 12%, are Carmel Valley, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Chula Vista NE, and Rancho Bernardo W.

Corrected:
This story was produced with support from the Economic Hardship Reporting Project.