San Diego Business Journal

Unemployment Rate Ebbs; Hospitality Jobs Surge

Friday, May 20, 2011

San Diego’s unemployment rate fell below 10 percent in April, the first time that’s happened in two years, as the region added a net 2,400 jobs to bring the rate to 9.8 percent, down from 10.2 percent in March, and 10.3 percent in April 2010.

For the same month, California’s unadjusted jobless rate was 11.7 percent, while the national jobless rate was 8.7 percent.

The biggest segment creating local new jobs in the month was leisure and hospitality, which gained 3,300, with 1,900 of those jobs coming from bars and restaurants. Entertainment related businesses added 1,100 jobs.

Three other segments added jobs, led by a group known as “other services,” with 1,100 jobs, and manufacturing with 500 positions.

Those gains were offset by losses in five sectors led by government, down 1,100 jobs, and professional and business services, down 1,000 jobs.

Over the 12 months, the region’s employment increased by 13,400 jobs, or 1.1 percent. The biggest contributor to the annual gain was from professional and business services which increased by 7,400 jobs over the year. The largest declines were in construction, down 1,700 jobs, and manufacturing, down 1,200.

— Mike Allen