San Diego’s Unemployment rate hits new low since start of COVID-19 Pandemic

Written by Sebastian Acosta

A survey conducted the week before San Diego County was placed in California’s purple tier had the county’s unemployment rate at 6.6 percent, but it is likely that the next one will yield a higher percentage as businesses now face more restrictions. 

In May the unemployment rate reached its highest since 1990, at 14.2 percent. Since November of last year, when the rate was at 1.9 percent, 98,100 jobs have been lost in San Diego alone. In California, only 46 percent of jobs have returned. 

Since the survey was taken in mid-November, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s stay-at-home order has limited the number of customers that local businesses can attract. The order’s ban on all in-person dining really took a large toll.  

A San Diego judge stopped state and local officials from enforcing COVID-19 shutdown orders against restaurants and live entertainment venues, but that decision was reversed by an appeals court the next day. 

Over the course of the year, 45,100 jobs have been lost in leisure and hospitality; government jobs are down 17,500; and the trade, transportation and utilities industry lost 12,000 jobs. 

Still, the construction industry as well as professional and business sectors have gained 2,000 and 7,300 jobs, respectively.

In all, according to an analysis of November’s jobless claims by Beacon Economics and UC Riverside’s business school, the San Diego metropolitan area, at 6.4 percent, has had the least job losses in Southern California this year.