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Economy

Unemployment Rate In San Diego County Increases Slightly

Seasonal job losses at schools sent San Diego County's unemployment rate in July to 5.4 percent, up from an adjusted 5 percent in June, the third straight monthly climb, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The local unemployment rate in July last year was 6.9 percent.

The EDD said San Diego's rate last month compared with 6.5 percent statewide and 5.6 percent nationwide. The figures are not seasonally adjusted.

San Diego County lost 1,900 nonfarm jobs last month, with seasonal losses in local education and state government that were only partially made up for by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and construction, according to the agency.

Over the past year, however, the region has gained 48,200 positions, led by 9,600 jobs in professional, scientific and technical services. Leisure and hospitality gained 8,500 jobs — almost entirely by hiring in the food services and drinking places sector. Education and health services added 7,600.

Phil Blair, CEO of Manpower San Diego, said there shouldn't be any concern over the "four tenths uptick" in unemployment.

"Every indicator points San Diego in a positive direction, especially employment growth figures, which are really picking up speed," Blair said. "Every year, thousands of education workers temporarily respond as unemployed once schools go on summer break, but these people do not actually leave the labor force."

About 85,100 San Diegans were unemployed last month out of a civilian labor force of 1.58 million, according to EDD data.