A waiter at The Current Burger delivers an order in Fashion Valley. Photo by Chris Stone

The unemployment rate in San Diego County decreased to 5.3% in October, down from a revised 5.6% in September and well below the year-ago estimate of 8.4%, according to figures released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.1% for California — which decreased from 6.4% in September — and 4.3% for the nation — down from September’s 4.6% — during the same period.

“This was especially promising since it was achieved during a month that saw large numbers of people returning to the workforce,” said Lynn Reaser, chief economist at Point Loma Nazarene University. “The re-opening of schools and childcare facilities is enabling more people to seek jobs, while companies are offering higher wages and incentives to attract them.”

Between September and October, nonfarm employment increased by 27,500, from 1,416,500 to 1,444,000, according to EDD figures. Agricultural employment remained unchanged.

Professional and business services led all industry sectors in employment gains, posting 6,500 jobs. Leisure and hospitality was next with 5,400 added jobs and government followed with 5,100.

Also gaining in October were the trade, transportation and utilities industry with 3,100 jobs added, educational and health services with 2,900, construction with 1,600, other services with 1,300, financial activities with 800, manufacturing with 600 and both the information and mining and logging industries with 100 jobs added.

Year over year, nonfarm employment increased by 61,600 jobs, a gain of 4.5%.

The largest gainer was leisure and hospitality, with 26,400 jobs added to payrolls between October 2020 and October 2021. Of those, 22,000 were in accommodation and food services.

Professional and business services added 11,000 jobs, other services with 8,200 gained, construction with 4,900 gained, educational and health services up 4,000, government up 3,100, trade, transportation and utilities with a gain of 2,600, information up 1,300, manufacturing up 500 and mining and logging adding 100 new jobs.

Only financial activities — with a loss of 500 jobs — posted year- over losses.

Updated at 1:36 p.m., Friday, Nov. 19, 2021

–City News Service

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