San Diego County’s unemployment rate fell to 8 percent in February, the lowest since December 2008 when it was at 7.4 percent, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.
The jobless rate for the region decreased from a revised 8.6 percent in January and below the 9.4 percent rate in February 2012.
It was also below California’s 9.6 percent jobless rate on a seasonally adjusted basis and below the 8.1 percent unemployment rate for the entire nation for the same month, according to the EDD report.
Over the 12 months to February 2012, the region showed a net gain of 31,400 jobs, up from the prior month’s net annual gain from January 2012 to January of this year of about 30,600 jobs.
Except for mining, which was flat, all job sectors showed net gains over the 12 month period, led by professional and business services, which had a net gain of 10,900 jobs.
The next three largest job gains came from leisure and hospitality, up 6,000; education and health services, up 5,000; and a sector that includes retail trade, up 2,500.
In the past month, the region showed a gain of 9,800 jobs to bring the total nonfarm employment to 1.267 million. The largest contributors were leisure and hospitality, up 3,300, and professional and business services, up 2,800.
Trade, transportation and utilities, the sector that includes retail and wholesale trade, was the sole sector showing a net loss with 2,300 jobs.
The number of unemployed people in the county in February was 128,600, down nearly 7 percent from the prior month when 138,000 were reported to be unemployed. However, that figure does not include thousands who have exhausted unemployment benefits, those no longer looking for work, or part-time underemployed workers.
— SDBJ Staff Report