Unemployment rate in California. Photo credit: wycokck.org.

The San Diego region’s unemployment rate declined to 9% in September, a half-percent drop from the previous month, according to figures released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

According to the EDD, total non-farm employment in San Diego County increased by 11,700 jobs month-over-month — from 1,372,900 to 1,384,600 — while farm employment remained unchanged at 9,600.

The unemployment rate at this time last year was 2.9%. The region lost 117,700 non-farm jobs and 500 agricultural jobs over the year.

The region’s unemployment rate rose to 15% in May during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to EDD data, while data from the San Diego Association of Governments showed rates of nearly 30% unemployment in May.

In September, the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 10.8% from 11.6% the previous month, and the nation’s decreased to 7.7% from 8.5%.

Government jobs led in local monthly gains, with 6,800 jobs added to the region’s total. Leisure and hospitality gained 2,500 jobs; educational and health services 2,400; trade, transportation and utilities 1,400; other services 1,100; and professional and business services gained 100.

Construction posted the most job losses, with 1,400. Manufacturing lost 900, financial activities 200 and information posted a loss of 100 jobs.

Comparing year-over-year, leisure and hospitality continue to top the list in jobs lost, with a total of 52,400 jobs lost since last September — 38,400 of which came in accommodation and food services.

Since the same time last year, government lost 14,200 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities 13,900; educational and health services 10,600; other services 10,300; manufacturing 6,500; construction 4,400; information 3,500; and financial activities 3,400.

Professional and business was the sole industry to post job gains year- over-year, with 1,500 new jobs.

–City News Service