San Diego’s unemployment rate fell to 8.9 percent in December, the first time it’s dropped below 9 percent since April 2009, and a drop from November’s revised rate of 9.2 percent, according to a Jan. 20 report from the state’s Employment Development Department.
The region’s jobless rate compared favorably to the state’s adjusted rate of 11.1 percent and the national rate of 8.3 percent for December.
The local jobless rate reached a high of 10.9 percent in both January and July 2010. It was 8.8 percent in April 2009.
In December, usually among the lowest rates for the year because of employers hiring more for the holiday shopping season, the region gained a net 4,100 jobs, with nearly half of those generated in the professional and business services sector.
About 1,200 jobs within a subgroup called professional scientific and technical services were added in December, the report stated.
Among the types of jobs in this group are engineering and biological research, said Joe Briceno of the EDD.
Also within that job group was a segment called administrative and support and waste services, which added 700 jobs during the month.
Four non-farm sectors showed positive growth: trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,600 jobs; leisure and hospitality, 1,300; construction, 900; and other services, up 800.
Four sectors experienced job losses: government, down 1,300; manufacturing, 800; educational and health services, 300; and financial activities, down 100.
For the 12 months to December, San Diego had a net gain of 26,900 jobs, or 2.2 percent, led by educational and health services with 8,000 jobs; professional and business services, up 7,900; and leisure and hospitality, up 6,700.
— Mike Allen