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May 19, 2017

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

Labor market highlights for April 2017

The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reported a decrease in San Diego’s unemployment rate from a revised 4.2 percent in March to 3.8 percent in April, remaining below the year-ago estimate of 4.6 percent.

The 3.8 percent unemployment rate falls below the highest April unemployment rate (10.5 percent in 2010) and falls below the lowest April unemployment rate experienced in the region over the last 10 years (4.1 percent in 2007).

“San Diego’s unemployment rate is the lowest it’s been since the Great Recession started in 2007,” says Phil Blair of Manpower Staffing/San Diego. “This means that employers are going to have even more difficulty in finding quality workers since they may be employed elsewhere. It’s time to invest more in upskilling the unemployed and underemployed to fill in the gaps.”

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

Month-Over Job Changes2

Five sectors reported month-over job gains. Leisure & Hospitality recorded the largest gains, adding 2,100 jobs to the economy, with 1,300 coming from Accommodation & Food Services and 800 coming from Arts, Entertainment & Recreation.3 Other industries that showed increases include Construction (up 1,500), Trade, Transportation & Utilities (up 500) and Government and Manufacturing, adding 300 jobs each.

Five sectors reported month-over job losses. Professional & Business Services experienced the largest month-over employment loss with 1,800 jobs. Additionally, Financial Services lost 1,200 jobs and Information, Other Services and Educational & Health Services lost 200 jobs each. Overall, employers in San Diego County have added 1,100 net jobs in the past month.

San Diego County Year-Over Job Gains & Losses

Year-Over Job Changes

Between April 2016 and April 2017, five sectors experience year-over gains. Construction experienced the largest year-over gain, adding 6,300 jobs to the region. Most of this growth came from a 4,200 job increase in Specialty Trade Contractors.4 The remaining industries that showed year-over growth include Government (6,200 jobs), Educational & Health Services (4,100 jobs), Other Services (2,200 jobs) and Financial Activities (1,100 jobs).

Five sectors experienced year-over job losses: Trade, Transportation & Utilities (down 800), followed by Leisure & Hospitality (down 300), Manufacturing (down 300), Professional & Business Services (down 200) and Information (down 100). Overall, employers in San Diego County have added 18,200 net jobs in the past year.

San Diego County Year-Over Job Gains & Losses


Most industry sectors in San Diego County experienced both month- and year-over job gains in April, with jobs in five sectors growing from March 2017 and five growing since April 2016. San Diego employers have shown a net job gain of 1,100 jobs from March 2017 and 18,200 jobs since April 2016. Additionally, San Diego’s unemployment rate of 3.8 percent remains lower than the California rate of 4.5 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.
3–4Employment Development Department (EDD)

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