Unemployment ticks down in San Diego, but job gains in jeopardy

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Posted at 4:11 PM, Jul 02, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-02 20:20:29-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — San Diego County's unemployment rate ticked down to 14.8%, but a potential new wave of closures could wipe out a large portion of the recent job gains.

The San Diego Association of Governments reported Thursday that the jobless rate in the region is continuing to drop from a peak of 25% on May 9.

Still, roughly 250,000 workers in the county remain unemployed amid the Coronavirus outbreak.

Ray Major, the agency's chief economist, said the increased spread of the virus could lead to prolonged economic frustration.

"What (the report) shows is that we're ready to go back to work, but that the recovery is probably going to be slow, and we're probably going to be having this conversation with double digit unemployment throughout the summer and probably into the fall," he said.

The potential drawbacks would take a financial and mental toll on thousands of workers who returned to their jobs, only to be sent back to file for unemployment.

Season and Ian McKesson had to close their two hair salons when the pandemic broke in March and got by on unemployment.

"It was hard working 50 to 60 hours a week and being proud that you can maintain everything and then all of a sudden you can't do anything. It was almost like being ripped apart, for me," Season said.

The McKessons had to shutter their Mission Hills salon permanently but did reopen their Fallbrook location, called Mary Jane North. That cleared the way for seven stylists, including them, to go back to work.

"We get nervous because there's things that are still shutting down around, and so that's a little daunting," Season said.

The areas of San Diego County with the highest joblessness continue to be in central and southern parts of the region.