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San Diego County's Unemployment Rate Rises To 5% In October

This graph shows the unemployment rate from February to October of 2015.
Brooke Ruth
This graph shows the unemployment rate from February to October of 2015.

After two months of declines, the unemployment rate in San Diego County rose last month to 5 percent, up from 4.6 percent in September but still well below the 6 percent rate of a year ago, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

San Diego County's rate is below the statewide rate of 5.7 percent and above the 4.8 percent rate nationwide, according to EDD data. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted.

Large job losses at bars and restaurants accounted for a major portion of the climb in local unemployment, according to the EDD.

Despite last month's cutbacks, the leisure and hospitality area is still up 5,200 positions for the year, mainly at drinking establishments and for food services.

Other sectors with large job increases since the same time last year were professional, scientific and technical services, along with healthcare and social assistance. The construction sector also grew by 3,500 jobs over the past year.

Government positions grew by 7,200 over the past month, mainly in state government and teaching jobs, according to the EDD.

"We continue to see solid employment growth overall and very high growth in key high-wage sectors like technical services, construction and healthcare," said Mike Combs, research manager at the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. "It is very likely that this growth will drive the unemployment rate back below 5 percent by the end of the year."

The agency reported that 78,100 San Diegans were unemployed last month out of a civilian labor force of more than 1.57 million. The number of jobless is almost 6,000 above last month, but nearly 16,000 fewer than October 2014.