The rate of unemployed job seekers in San Diego has fallen below 4 percent for the first time in more than a decade, according to data released May 19 by the California Employment Development Department.
In April, San Diego’s unemployment rate was 3.8 percent, the EDD reported.
An unemployment rate of less than 4 percent has been a rarity in recent years. Not since 2001 has San Diego seen a year with more than three months in which the rate fell below 4 percent, according to historical EDD data.
April’s estimated unemployment rate for San Diego is down from a revised estimate of 4.2 percent in March and below the year-ago estimate of 4.6 percent.
Total jobs in the region outside of the agricultural industry – called nonfarm jobs, in the EDD parlance – rose by 1,100 to 1,436,400 jobs, according to the agency. Agricultural jobs ticked up 300, rising 3.3 percent to 9,300 over the month.
As local businesses gear up for the summer tourist season, the region’s leisure and hospitality segment recorded the largest job gain, adding 2,100 jobs, according to the EDD. Of those, 1,300 were in accommodation and food services, while 800 were in arts, entertainment and recreation.
Other industries that recorded gains included construction, which added 1,500 jobs, and trade, transportation and utilities, which added 500 jobs. Manufacturing and government ticked up by 300 new jobs each over the month.
Professional and business services, however, fell by 1,800 jobs, as did financial activities, which lost 1,200. The information, education and health services and other services sectors also posted losses over the month, shrinking by 200 jobs each.
Statewide, the EDD estimated that 4.5 percent of job seekers were unemployed in April; nationwide the estimate was 4.1 percent.