San Diego County unemployment rises to 8%

Written by Justin Culetu 

The unemployment rate in San Diego County continues to rise during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month, the rate increased to 8% compared, to 6.6% in November and 2.8% last year. According to the Employment Development Department, non-farm employment decreased by 5,300 jobs within a month. 

The loss of jobs during the holiday season is not a common occurrence according to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation. While more people were looking for work in December, most could not find any and witnessed more companies laying off staff than hiring.

“We’re concerned that low-wage workers continue to be disproportionately affected by the COVID recession. Today’s data show the hardest-hit industries are those with low average annual wages,” said Daniel Enemark at the San Diego Workforce Partnership.

Over the course of the year, the county saw a loss of 105,600 non-farm jobs and 400 agricultural jobs. May of 2020 saw one of the highest unemployment rates of the year, at 15% according to the EDD; while the San Diego Association of Governments reported a 30% unemployment rate. 

The industries that reported large month over month declines in jobs include leisure and hospitality, losing 9,600 jobs; accommodation and food services, losing 10,300 jobs; government, losing 1,500 jobs; manufacturing, losing 800 jobs; educational and health services, losing 200 jobs; and financial activities, down 100 jobs.

Governor Newsom has lifted the regional stay-at-home order as of Monday and, despite appearing to be primarily for political gain, that will likely make a significant difference in unemployment numbers because people will finally be able to get back to work.