The San Diego County unemployment rate dropped three-tenths of a percent to 2.9 percent in April as the region’s labor market continues to tighten, according to data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.
Local unemployment is 1 percent lower than it was a year ago, and the lowest it’s been since January 2000. That puts regional unemployment well below state and national averages of 3.8 and 3.9 percent, respectively.
“This month’s very strong jobs report is consistent with what we’ve heard from our members recently about hiring difficulties,” said Sean Karafin at the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce. “With an unemployment rate below three percent, it’s no wonder why firms are having trouble finding qualified employees in the job market.”
Total nonfarm employment in the county rose 1 percent in April. The largest increases came from the professional and business services industry, which added 4,200 jobs, compared to a 10-year April average of 310 new jobs.
“Communications and public relations businesses, like Katz & Associates, continue to add jobs primarily due to the growing need to create, edit, and broadcast information through a variety of different platforms,” said Derek Danziger, president of Katz.
The construction industry showed the largest year-over-year employment increase, with 6.2 percent. The leisure and hospitality industry, meanwhile, experienced a year-over-year decline of 1.6 percent. It was the only sector in the county to experience a decline.
Overall, 3,545 new businesses were established in April, and there were 96,808 unique job postings.
The regional labor force contracted slightly last month, shedding 5,900 workers in the seventh decline in the past year. Overall, the region’s labor force includes 1,577,400 people.
National City had the highest unemployment rate in April, 3.9 percent, while Solana Beach had the lowest, with 1.2 percent.
— From Staff and Wire Reports
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