Photo by Chris Stone

San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.6 percent in May, down from a revised 3.8 percent for the previous month, and below the year-ago estimate of 4.3 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

That compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 4.2 percent for California and 4.1 percent for the nation during the same period, according to the EDD.

In San Diego County, between April and May of this year, total nonfarm employment increased from 1,437,700 to 1,443,800, a gain of 6,100 jobs. Agricultural employment added 100 jobs, or 1.1 percent.

Leisure and hospitality posted the greatest month-over gain in San Diego County, adding 2,400 jobs. Accommodation and food services — up 1,500 — accounted for more than 62 percent of the job growth in the area, primarily from food services and drinking places (up 1,100). Arts, entertainment and recreation gained 900 jobs.

Six other nonfarm sectors in San Diego also added jobs in May. The most significant employment gains came from other services (up 1,600), financial services (up 900), and government (up 900).

Two sectors recorded month-over job losses: educational and health services (down 800) and construction (down 100).

In May, 56,100 San Diegans were unemployed out of a civilian labor force of 1.55 million people, according to the EDD.

Statewide, the unemployment rate last month was 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent in April, according to the EDD.

In May 2016, California’s unemployment rate was 5.5 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased 0.1 percent in May to 4.3 percent, with employers nationwide adding 138,000 nonfarm payroll jobs.

The EDD reported that during May, eight of California’s 11 industry sectors added a total of 29,400 jobs. Government posted the largest jobs increase with a gain of 12,300 jobs, followed by information with a gain of 9,600 jobs.

Other sectors adding jobs over the month were trade, transportation and utilities; other services; financial activities; education and health services; construction; and manufacturing.

Three industry sectors reported job declines last month, down a total of 11,800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest decreases in May, down 9,700 jobs, followed by professional and business services, down 1,700 jobs, and mining and logging, down 400 jobs.

—City News Service

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