Unemployment falls across county, but remains near 16%

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FILE – In this May 7, 2020 file photo, a person looks inside the closed doors of the Pasadena Community Job Center in Pasadena, Calif., during the coronavirus outbreak. California’s unemployment rate continued to climb in May, reaching 16.3% as businesses continued to lay people off because of a state-at-home order aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus that has wrecked the state’s economy. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

SAN DIEGO (CNS) – Unemployment numbers continue to decrease across San Diego County from a high of 25% in May, a report released Thursday from the San Diego Association of Governments found.

The region’s unemployment rate is estimated to be 15.9%, the SANDAG report found, 1.8% lower than the previous week and 9.1% lower than this time last month.

According to the report, the number of unemployed people in the county began to drop when Gov. Gavin Newsom announced the state was moving into Stage 2 of his four-stage reopening roadmap on May 8. The report also credits local politicians for getting people back to work.

“Elected officials in the San Diego region have worked aggressively to help businesses reopen as quickly as possible, which contributed to approximately 150,000 workers returning to work in the past month,” a summary of the report said. “However, there are still roughly 270,000 unemployed people in the region (down from 425,000 in early May).”

San Diego County moved into Phase 3 of reopening in early June, which allowed in-store retail, restaurants, manufacturing facilities, hair salons and barbershops, bars, zoos, movie theaters and hotels to resume operations with appropriate social-distancing rules in place. On June 19, nail and facial salons and tattoo and massage establishments were allowed to reopen.

The unemployment rate of 15.9% in the region is still 50% higher than it was at the peak of the Great Recession — 10.8% in 2009 — which signals that there is still a long way to go to return to the unemployment levels recorded in March 2020, before the start of the public health crisis.

The most affected ZIP Codes remain those in the southern and central part of the region. The five ZIP Codes still experiencing the highest unemployment rates are Golden Hill, College Area, City Heights, San Ysidro and Logan Heights. These areas have an average unemployment rate around 20%.

The five ZIP Codes with lowest unemployment rates are Del Mar, Carmel Valley, Rancho Santa Fe, Chula Vista NE and Rancho Bernardo W. These areas have an average unemployment rate of around 12%.

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