County unemployment rate slightly drops
SAN DIEGO — The unemployment rate in San Diego County in December was 4.7 percent, down from 4.8 percent the previous month and well below the 5.5 percent figure recorded in December 2014, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.
The San Diego region’s figure compared with a 5.8 percent statewide unemployment rate, and was just below the 4.8 percent for the U.S. as a whole. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted.
Holiday period job growth was seen in retail, which gained 1,900 jobs last month.
Over the past year, San Diego County picked up 37,500 positions, including 9,400 new jobs in healthcare and social assistance, 6,900 spots in professional, scientific and technical services, and 5,800 construction jobs.
“San Diego’s labor market experienced a very positive year in 2015, despite a slower than usual December,” said Phil Blair, CEO of the staffing firm Manpower San Diego.
“The region added tens of thousands of jobs since the previous year, primarily in high-wage and productive industries,” Blair said. “This drove thousands of people back to the labor force and resulted in 20,000 fewer unemployed.”
In December, 74,700 San Diegans were out of work, in a civilian labor force of nearly 1.57 million people.