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Unemployment drops to 14.3%, but likely to rise after recent health orders

Projection: GDP expected to bounce back in 2021, unemployment to see slower return
Posted at 5:56 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 20:56:27-04

SAN DIEGO (CNS) - Unemployment in San Diego County has dropped to 14.3%, but is likely to start increasing again due to modified public health orders, a report released Wednesday by the San Diego Association of Governments found.

While unemployment has slowly but steadily declined from the high of 25% the week of May 9, county health orders on Tuesday closing bars, indoor dining at restaurants and indoor business at zoos, museums, movie theaters and other businesses will likely take a toll on the region.

"The recent rollbacks in opening could significantly impact the food and beverage industry," SANDAG Chief Economist Ray Major said. "Additionally, we could see another wave of layoffs as funding from Paycheck Protection Program loans is exhausted."

Those industries told to shut down or modify business on Tuesday represent more than 160,000 jobs, or 11% of the region's pre-COVID-19 workforce.

The unemployment rate before the pandemic was 3.1% and it could take many months for the economy to recover to that degree, the report said.

The report also shows the geographical distribution of lost jobs and calculates unemployment rates for the five most impacted ZIP codes regionwide, including Encanto, College Area, City Heights, San Ysidro, and Logan Heights. Only Logan Heights is estimated to still have an unemployment rate above 20%. The five ZIP codes least affected, with unemployment rates just over 10%, are Carmel Valley, Del Mar, Rancho Santa Fe, Chula Vista NE, and Rancho Bernardo W.

"This data can help inform local leaders as they continue to plan our region's recovery," SANDAG Executive Director Hasan Ikhrata said. "As the forum that brings together elected officials and leaders from throughout the San Diego region, SANDAG is in a unique position to analyze this data and to develop reports and economic forecasts."