San Diego County's unemployment rate rose to 6.8% in April, a reflection of the persistent ebbing of jobs overall locally, particularly in the manufacturing, construction and financial employment sectors.
The jobless rate, which was up from 6.6% the previous month and 5.9% in April, 1991, also reached 6.8% in February, according to figures from the state Employment Development Department. Except for November and December, when retailers made large numbers of seasonal hires, the county's unemployment rate has been over 6% since April 1991.
The persistently high jobless rate also shows that the recession continues to plague a San Diego economy buffeted by defense budget cutbacks, sluggish tourism and cash-conscious consumers who are staying away from the shopping malls in droves.
The county's rate is still lower that the state's and nation's, however. California's unemployment rate was 8.1% in April, up from the statewide rate of 7.4% in April 1991, EDD labor market analyst Lucille Sullivan said Wednesday.
Nationwide, the jobless rate was 7.1% in April, up from 6.5% in April 91. The U.S. rate declined from 7.7% in March 92, however.
The local job market continued to shrink. Total non-agricultural jobs in the county were 960,300 in April, down by 16,700 jobs from the 977,000 employed in April 1991.
The biggest loss was suffered by the manufacturing sector, which saw 5,600 jobs disappear over the year. Construction jobs were down 2,100, and finance and real estate jobs were off by 2,000 from the previous 12 months.