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San Diego County Unemployment Rate Drops To 6.4% As Slow Recovery Continues

A help wanted sign at the Tin Fish restaurant on Imperial Beach Pier, Sept. 1...

Photo by Alexander Nguyen

Above: A help wanted sign at the Tin Fish restaurant on Imperial Beach Pier, Sept. 12, 2020.

The unemployment rate in San Diego County decreased to 6.4% in May, down from a revised 6.7% in April — but well below the year-ago rate of 15.6% as the ramifications of the COVID-19 pandemic were becoming clear — according to figures released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

Statewide, the seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate was 7.5% in May, down from 8.1% in April. The country posted a 5.5% unemployment rate in the same time period, down from 5.7% in April.

Between April and May, non-farm employment increased by 2,000, from 1,398,600 to 1,400,600 and agricultural employment increased by 300 to 9,400.

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Leisure and hospitality added the most jobs over the month with an increase of 3,900 jobs — gaining for the fourth consecutive month. Accommodation and food services boosted the overall sector by 3,100 jobs — 79% of the total. Arts, entertainment, and recreation — up 800 jobs — completed the overall sectoral gain.

Government grew by 1,200 jobs, with local government — up 700 — and state government — up 600 — producing the overall increase. Federal government offset job additions with a loss of 100 jobs. Three other sectors recorded job additions: educational and health services — up 1,000 — trade, transportation, and utilities — up 900 — and information — up 200.

Over the month, professional and business services lost the most jobs, with a decline of 2,500 jobs. The bulk of the loss was in administrative and support and waste management with a loss of 2,100 jobs, followed by professional, scientific, and technical services losing 600, but offset by an increase of 200 jobs in management of companies and enterprises.

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Construction fell by 1,200 jobs. Specialty trade contractors lost 600 jobs and accounted for half of the overall decline. Heavy and civil engineering construction — down 400 jobs — and construction of buildings — down 200 — completed the sectoral loss. Manufacturing lost 900 jobs and financial activities lost 600 over the month. Mining and logging and other services remained unchanged.

Between May 2020 and May 2021, non-farm employment increased by 119,500, or 9.3%. Agricultural employment remained unchanged.

Leisure and hospitality rose by 46,100 jobs, the largest increase over the year. Accommodation and food services — up 40,300 jobs — accounted for 87% of the increase. Arts, entertainment, and recreation — up 5,800 jobs — completed the sectoral gain.

Trade, transportation, and utilities increased by 22,900 jobs and educational and health services increased by 13,900 jobs.

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