Updated at 1:47 p.m., Friday Apr. 21
The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 4.2 percent last month, unchanged from the month before, but below the 4.9 percent recorded in the same period last year, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.
The local figure compares to a rate of 5.1 percent for California and 4.6 percent nationwide. Neither the state nor national figures are seasonally adjusted.
San Diego’s 4.2 percent in March is close to a post-recession low, bettered only by December’s 4.1 percent.
“Unemployment rates are stabilizing across the region, as jobs are being filled more quickly and new businesses are coming online at the fastest rate we’ve seen in a year,” said Phil Blair, president and CEO of the staffing firm Manpower. “Some of our biggest and best-paying employers are those who are looking to hire right now.”
Between February and March, the biggest gains were in local government education, up 1,300 jobs; ambulatory health care services, 1,000; and amusement, gambling and recreation, 600, according to EDD data.
However, the agency reported that 500 retail positions were lost during the month.
Over the past year, ambulatory health care services added 3,800 jobs; specialty building contractors gained 3,500; professional, scientific and technical services also picked up 3,500; and the amusement, gambling and recreation industry went up by 1,700, the EDD said.
Area restaurants lost 2,200 positions over the past year, according to the agency.
Only 10 of California’s 58 counties had lower rates than San Diego in March. Within San Diego County, the highest unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in Bostonia, the unincorporated area in northeastern El Cajon, while the lowest was 0.4 percent in Del Mar.
In March, 66,300 San Diegans were unemployed out of a civilian labor force of nearly 1.57 million people. The total unemployed is 10,600 fewer than the same month last year.
—City News Service
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