San Diego’s unemployment rate for March was 5.3 percent, up from February’s 5 percent and more than the 4.2 percent figure in March 2007.
Though rising, the area unemployment rate was still below that of California, at 6.4 percent, but above the national rate of 5.2 percent, according to the state’s Employment Development Department report of April 18.
The area actually showed a net gain of 6,000 jobs for the month, but more people were looking, so the rate increased. Total non-farm employment in the county is 1.3 million. A year earlier, the total was 1,700 higher.
The largest sectors contributing to the increase last month were leisure and hospitality, up by 2,600 jobs; government, up by 1,600 jobs; and educational and health services, up 1,400 jobs.
The biggest decline of 800 jobs came in the category known as trade, transportation and utilities, with retail trade contracting by 700 jobs.
In the 12 months from March 2007, the area lost 1,700 jobs, or 0.1 percent.
The biggest job generators during the year were leisure and hospitality, adding 4,100 jobs, with some two-thirds of that figure, or 2,800 jobs, coming from the hotels and food services industry.
The biggest decline came in the construction sector, which shed 9,100 jobs during the 12-month period. Financial activities contracted by 5,700 jobs.
, Mike Allen