San Diego's unemployment rate now the highest on record

These states have the lowest unemployment rate
Posted at 3:19 PM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 20:48:47-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County's unemployment rate has reached the highest level on record.

California's Employment Development Department reported Friday that the county's jobless rate was 15 percent in April, which was up from 2.9 percent one year ago and an adjusted 4.2 percent in March 2020.

In April, 195,000 San Diegans lost their non-farm payroll jobs. The region's leisure and hospitality made up more than half of those job declines.

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While the state's estimate pins the county at 15 percent unemployment, a new report from SANDAG says the actual, current number is likely twice as high because job losses have grown in the last month.

SANDAG estimated the region's current unemployment rate is 30.1 percent, with 460,000 people losing their jobs since the outbreak began March 7.

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The hardest hit areas of the county in SANDAG's report are in southwest San Diego, where the unemployment rate is estimated at 38 percent to 42 percent.

Ray Major, SANDAG's chief economist, said the good news is the county likely reached its peak of job losses in May because businesses are starting to reopen.

He noted, however, that some jobs will not come back - namely those in the restaurant and tourism fields, who will be hit by lower demand and social distancing restrictions.

"There's going to be a while until we can absorb those unemployed people who don't have a place to go back to into the economy somewhere," Major said.

Major said workers may have to retrain into more in-demand fields such as tech manufacturing.

The San Diego Workforce Partnership offers job placement services and retraining programs.