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June 16, 2017

The San Diego Monthly Employment Report (April 2017 to May 2017) shows a decrease in the civilian labor force, an increase employment, and a decrease in the unemployment rate. 1

Labor market highlights for May 2017


The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported a decrease in San Diego’s unemployment rate from a revised 3.8 percent in April to 3.6 percent in May, remaining below the year-ago estimate of 4.2 percent.

The 3.6 percent unemployment rate sets a new record low in the region over the last 10 years for the month of May. The previous lowest May unemployment rate was 4% in 2007.

San Diego & California unemployment rates
Civilian labor force & employment numbers

Month-Over Job Changes2

Seven sectors reported month-over job gains. Leisure & Hospitality recorded the largest gains, adding 2,400 jobs to the economy, with 1,500 coming from Accommodation & Food Services.3 This was followed most closely by Other Services, which increased by 1,600 jobs. Government, Financial Activities, Manufacturing, Professional & Business Services and Information all experienced job growth as well.

Two sectors reported month-over job losses. Educational & Health Services lost 800 jobs, while Construction decreased by 100. There was no change in Trade, Transportation & Utilities. Overall, employers in San Diego County have added 6,100 jobs in the past month.

San Diego County Year-Over Job Gains & Losses

Year-Over Job Changes

Between May 2016 and May 2017, seven sectors experienced year-over gains. Government experienced the largest year-over gain, adding 6,000 jobs to the region, followed by Construction (5,000), Other Services (4,000) and Educational & Health Services (3,900). Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, and Information also saw increases.

Three sectors experienced year-over job losses: Trade, Transportation & Utilities (down 1,400), Leisure & Hospitality (down -1,200), and Manufacturing (down 100). Overall, employers in San Diego County have added 20,300 jobs in the past year.

“In March I said ‘keep an eye on the hospitality and tourism industries, where we will see job growth in coming months,'” said Phil Blair, Executive Officer of Manpower Staffing/San Diego. “This has started with 2,400 jobs added in May and we are heading toward the seasonal peak in August. But, so far in the Great Recession recovery, the peak of Leisure and Hospitality jobs has been higher each year. This is the first year-over decrease since 2010. This is something we need to watch.”

San Diego County Year-Over Job Gains & Losses


Most industry sectors in San Diego County experienced both month- and year-over job gains in May, with jobs in seven sectors increasing both over the month and year. San Diego employers have shown a net job gain of 6,100 jobs from April 2017 and 20,300 jobs since May 2016. Additionally, San Diego’s unemployment rate of 3.6 percent remains lower than the California rate of 4.2 percent. 

1Labor force, employment and unemployment are reported by place of residence, including self-employed individuals, unpaid family workers, household domestic workers & workers on strike.
2Jobs data is gathered from employers through the Current Employment Statistics (CES) survey, administered monthly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The CES excludes self-employed individuals, unpaid family workers, household domestic workers & workers on strike.
3Employment Development Department (EDD)

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