SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Unemployment has hit record numbers in San Diego County, creeping past 30% in many zip codes, according to the latest SANDAG report.
San Diego County's unemployment rate increased 2% to 28.7%, with another 34,000 jobs lost between April 25 and May 2, the SANDAG report says.
SANDAG said although unemployment claims are expected to rise next week, the easing of business restrictions in the coming weeks could allow more to return to work.
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"For the local economy to take a turn for the better, the region must move through phase 2, and into phase 3 of the Governor’s roadmap," SANDAG's report noted.
The San Diego region has nearly 490,000 unemployed residents. Of those residents, more than 430,000 lost their jobs after March 7 when the COVID-19 pandemic began.
The region's hardest hit zip codes are in the central and southern parts of the county, where the average unemployment rate is 35.4%.
In the North County, along the State Route 78 corridor, unemployment went from 3.1% to 28.6% in less than two months according to SANDAG.
"If these people cannot get rehired, then what you could have is a regional or a sub-regional unemployment rate that is higher - lets say it would be double digit unemployment - for a significant amount of time," said Ray Major, SANDAG's chief economist.
At the Flying Pig in downtown Oceanside, owner Roddy Browning says he's rehired eight of the 19 workers he let go amid the outbreak. He said he will innovate to bring as many back as possible, but it's unlikely all will return given restaurant guidelines.
"The reality is that until we can get back to some sort of full seating capacity and get those numbers up, we're all kind of stuck in this rut," he said.
Several zip codes in the area have also crept over 30%, including:
- 92054 (Oceanside S): 32.5% unemployment as of May 2
- 92096 (CSUSM): 32.0% unemployment as of May 2
- 92081 (Vista S): 31.4% unemployment as of May 2
- 92025 (Escondido S): 31.1% unemployment as of May 2
- 92083 (Vista W): 30.7% unemployment as of May 2
- 92056 (Oceanside E): 30.3% unemployment as of May 2
- 92069 (San Marcos N): 30.3% unemployment as of May 2
- 92010 (Carlsbad NE): 30.0% unemployment as of May 2