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San Diego County Unemployment Drops To 9.9% As Jobs Increase By Nearly 21,000

A hiring sign taped on the wall of Ocean Ice Cream in Pacific Beach on June 21, 2020.
Alexander Nguyen
A hiring sign taped on the wall of Ocean Ice Cream in Pacific Beach on June 21, 2020.

The San Diego region's unemployment rate dropped to 9.9% in August, a 2.5% drop from the previous month, according to figures released today by the state Employment Development Department.

According to the EDD, total non-farm employment in San Diego County increased by 20,500 jobs — from 1,350,800 to 1,371,300 — while farm employment added 100 jobs, from 9,500 to 9,600.

The coronavirus pandemic and related job losses loom large over the economy even as some industries resume business. The unemployment rate at this time last year was 3.4%.


The data from the EDD does not reflect changing reopening tiers, or the fact that San Diego County could roll back reopenings by as soon as Tuesday because of rising COVID-19 numbers, which could throw the entire economy into a state similar to the months of March, April and May. The region's unemployment rate rose to a record 15% in May, according to EDD data, while data from the San Diego Association of Governments shows rates of nearly 30% in May.

In August, the state's unemployment rate dropped to 11.6% from 13.7% and the nation's decreased to 8.5% from 10.5%.

Government jobs led in local gains, with 6,800 jobs added to the region's total. Professional and business services gained 5,300 jobs, construction gained 3,100, trade, transportation and utilities 2,600, other services 1,200, educational and health services 1,000 and financial activities and manufacturing both gained 500 jobs.

Leisure and hospitality and information were the only industries to post job losses, with 400 and 100 jobs lost, respectively.

Comparing year-over-year, the San Diego region has lost 135,800 non- farm jobs and 400 agricultural jobs. Leisure and hospitality continue to top the list in jobs lost, with a total of 60,100 jobs lost since last August — 43,900 of which came in accommodation and food services.


Since the same time last year, trade, transportation and utilities shed 17,100 jobs, government lost 15,400, educational and health services 13,000, other services 12,000, manufacturing 7,200, information 3,800, construction 3,600, financial activities 3,300 and professional and business services lost 300 jobs.