Unemployment rate continues slow decline

jobsSAN DIEGO — The unemployment rate in San Diego County was 8.1 percent last month, down from a revised 8.4 percent in November and well below the 9 percent figure from December 2011, the state Employment Development Department announced today.

That compares with unemployment rates of 9.7 percent in California and 7.6 percent nationwide. Those figures are not seasonally adjusted.

San Diego’s figure is the lowest since a rate of 7.4 percent was recorded in December 2008. The region gained around 20,300 jobs over the course of the year, and there were 14,000 fewer jobless than December 2011, according to the EDD.

The biggest job gains in December came in retail, which gained 1,800 positions thanks to the holidays, the agency said. Gains were also seen in the Health Care and Social Assistance sector.

Around 1,100 positions were lost in area hotels and restaurants last month, plus 600 more in state government.

The agency reported that 130,200 San Diegans were jobless last month, out of a civilian labor force of 1.6 million people.

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