San Diego’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in December, a full point below November’s rate, and tied for third lowest in the state with three other counties.
The county is also below the average unemployment rate for California at 4.8 percent, and of the nation at 4.6 percent for the same month.
The area’s 3.6 percent rate was equaled by San Mateo, Placer and San Luis Obispo counties, and just below that of Marin, at 3.3 percent and Orange, the lowest at 3.2 percent.
For the full 12 months, the area has created about 17,400 jobs, or about 2,700 more than the comparable prior 12-month period. However, most of the new jobs are lower paying, said Cheryl Mason, a market analyst with the state’s Employment Development Department.
“We’ve seen a lot of job growth in leisure and hospitality, but also in construction jobs, and quite a bit in financial,” she said.
During the year, leisure and hospitality added 5,500 new jobs. Other major job increases were generated from the educational and health services sector, up 5,300; and construction, up 5,000.
The largest decline during the year was in professional and business services, which lost about 1,100 jobs. Three areas each lost 300 jobs in the same period: manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, and government.
December’s unemployment rate is usually the lowest of the year due to an increase in hiring for the Christmas shopping season by retailers.
, Mike Allen