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San Diego’s Unemployment Rate Breaks Record

Carrie Rossenfeld Professional Services

San Diego Regional EDC reports that San Diego’s unemployment rate for the month of April is the lowest on record for the millennium, dating back to January 2000. At 2.9 percent, the unemployment rate declined from March, dropping below 3.0 percent.

The largest increases in employment for the region came from professional and business services, which added 4,200 jobs, and growth in the sector was far stronger than the average April gains over the past 10 years of 310 new jobs.

San Diego Regional EDC also reports that the region’s unemployment rate was down 0.3 percentage points from March’s revised rate of 3.2 percent, and 1.0 percentage point lower than a year ago. San Diego’s unemployment rate remains far below both the state and national rates of 3.8 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Despite the shrinking unemployment rate, San Diego’s labor force contracted slightly, shedding 5,900 workers during the month, the organization reports, representing the seventh decline of the past 12 months. The labor force is now down 1,800 compared to a year ago.

There were 505,917 total job postings in April, of which 96,808 were unique. On average, employers are posting the same job more than six times. Analyzing the region’s supply of and demand for relevant skills reveals a mismatch between what employers want and those that applicants possess.

Accounting, selling techniques, and lab requisitions were the top skills listed during the month, each appearing in at least 5 percent of postings. However, these skills are not as prevalent in workforce profiles, lab requisitions, in particular, are notably absent from workforce profiles.

San Diego Workforce Partnership reports that Phil Blair, executive office of Manpower/Staffing San Diego, says, “Professional and business services has seen some unprecedented growth in the past few months, jumping by over 10,000 jobs from January to April. That’s equal to the net growth of the past three years combined. This means job seekers should keep their eyes peeled for opportunities in things like administrative and support services and scientific research and development. And with the unemployment rate at 2.9%—wow! There’s a lot of opportunity to find the job that will energize you and make you happy.”

Also according to San Diego Workforce Partnership, while healthcare, information, and communication technologies and clean energy continued to add jobs in 2017, life sciences saw a slight decline, and advanced manufacturing jobs remained constant.