San Diego’s Unemployment Rate Ticks Up to 3.8 percent

Updated: May 16, 2019

CoStar Market Insights: Professional, Scientific and Technical Fields Still Driving Growth; More is on the Way

San Diego recorded a noticeable uptick to the unemployment rate in the latest jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The revised 3.1 percent rate in December 2018 was bumped up to 3.8 percent in January 2019.


That still compares favorably to both the national and California unemployment rates, which were 4 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively, as of January.


San Diego’s nonfarm employment growth in 2018 was revised down 0.2 percent from 1.9 percent to 1.7 percent. The difference was most noticeable during April last year, when Qualcomm’s layoffs took effect.


However, the bulk of the increased unemployment rate fell heavily on the retail trade and hospitality sectors. Those industries lost almost 9,000 and 4,100 jobs, respectively, since December.


On an annualized basis, 22,300 jobs were added in the past 12 months ending in January. Average weekly earnings picked up by 1.5 percent.


The education and health services sector boasted the largest job gains, adding nearly 7,000 jobs in the past 12 months. Owing largely to the strength of San Diego’s defense sector, jobs in the aerospace product and parts manufacturing category grew by 8.2 percent, the largest sector increase by percentage.


Over 4,000 jobs were added in the professional, scientific and technical sectors as well. These are typically the highest-paying jobs. According to the San Diego Regional Economic Development Corp., jobs within the innovation economy pay on average $132,000 annually in San Diego, compared with an average of $63,000 for jobs in the rest of the economy.


And that sector may see more gains in 2019. Apple plans to have at least 200 positions filled by year’s end, on the way to boosting its local workforce to 1,200 within three years.

Amazon has also begun filling out its UTC presence, and has space to hire up to 500 workers. ViaSat, Walmart Labs and Takeda have all expanded and are expected to ramp up hiring this year.


The trade, transportation and utilities sector posted the most losses, shedding 2,000 jobs. The construction industry also lost 1,300 workers in the past 12 months. Creeping job losses in the construction sector could impact the real estate industry. Fewer skilled laborers could lead to longer construction windows and fewer projects breaking ground.


Article Via: CoStar Market Insights



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