San Diego’s unemployment rate drops further below national average

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SAN DIEGO — The San Diego County unemployment rate dropped by a tenth of a percent to 3.5 percent in February amid “better-than-average” growth, according to data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

The number is down from 3.6 percent in January and down from 4.4 percent a year ago.

This puts the region’s unemployment rate below both the statewide rate of 4.5 percent and the national rate of 4.4 percent, according to the state data.

Total non-farm employment in the county increased by 11,500 jobs, according to the state, leaving the total non-farm workforce at 1,463,700.

Farm employment also increased by 400 jobs, from 7,900 to 8,300.

Professional business services led the month’s growth, adding more than 5,300 jobs, the new data show. Other areas with healthy growth included construction, with an increase of 2,900 jobs, government, with an increase of 2,600 jobs, and manufacturing, with an increase of 600 jobs.

Trade, transportation and utilities jobs continued to decline from the previous month, shedding 2,600 jobs.

The county has added nearly 28,000 jobs since February 2017, officials reported.

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