In the Inland Empire, hit hard by the housing downturn, employers added 7,500 jobs, led by the government sector, even as the building trades continued to shed jobs. Construction lost 1,900 jobs in October, bringing losses this year to 15,900 so far. The trade, transportation and utilities sector -- which, slammed by slowing traffic at the ports, has shed 18,800 jobs over the last year -- gained 600 last month.
San Diego County gained 8,100 jobs as its unemployment rate ticked up to 10.5% from a revised 10.4% in September.
With so many people out of work, the thousands of new jobs aren't nearly enough to meet demand for employment.
Mike Campbell, 48, of San Pedro posted a notice in the resumes section of Craigslist, saying he was losing hope of finding a job.
In an interview, Campbell said he worked at a Toyota parts manufacturing plant in Long Beach for 15 years before taking a buyout in 2008 to pursue his dream of owning a coffee shop. The shop failed after seven months, he said, and now the $57,000 from the buyout has shriveled to $2,000. He underwent training to become a certified security guard but hasn't found work that way, and his experience in manufacturing hasn't landed him a job either.
"It's terrible out there," he said.
The lines of people applying for assistance, the swarms of applicants for every job, the silence he hears after sending out resumes all make Campbell seriously doubt that any kind of recovery is underway.
"I have to see it for myself," he said.