Restaurant workers
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 San Diego County’s unemployment rate dropped to 2.7% in May, down from 3% in April, according to figures released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

It was below the rate just before the pandemic began, and the lowest unemployment rate reported so far this century.

“By any measure, this is the tightest labor market of the century,” said San Diego Workforce Partnership senior economist Daniel Enemark.

“While fears of an imminent recession may be exaggerated in the media, we don’t know how long this will last,” he added. “I would encourage anyone who’s been thinking about advancing their career to look for jobs now—but maybe not to quit their current job until they have an offer in hand.”

May’s unemployment rate was considerably less than May 2021’s rate of 6.6%, and below the current 3.4% rate for California.

According to the EDD, between April and May, nonfarm employment grew by 8,400 jobs, from 1,507,400 to 1,515,800. Agricultural jobs grew by 400 month- over-month.

Leisure and hospitality registered the most significant month-over- month payroll increase, adding 3,200 jobs. The additions were mainly concentrated in accommodation and food services — up 2,000 — followed by arts, entertainment and recreation with 1,200 added.

Between May 2021 and May 2022, nonfarm employment increased by 83,900 – – around 5.9% growth. Agricultural employment increased by 200 jobs year- over-year.

Leisure and hospitality led the year-over increase, adding 36,900 jobs. Accommodation and food services saw an upswing of 29,200 jobs, where food services and drinking places employment increased by 22,600 jobs.

Employment grew by 18,100 in professional and business services. Payrolls increased in administrative and support and waste management and remediation services — up 9,600 — and in professional, scientific, and technical services — up 9,000. Management of companies and enterprises decreased employment levels by 500.

Every sector posted job gains year-over-year with the exceptions of manufacturing — which lost 800 jobs over the year — and mining and logging, which remained unchanged.

City News Service contributed to this article.


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Ellen Bullock