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The unemployment rate in San Diego County dropped to 3.4 percent in March, hinting at a region-wide recovery from strains caused by the pandemic. 

The California Employment Development Department released data today that saw a considerable drop in unemployment compared to March 2021’s rate of 7.6 percent. Last month's rates compare with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 4.2 percent for California and 3.8 percent for the nation during the same period.

The EDD reported that between February and March, nonfarm employment grew by 8,000 jobs in San Diego County, from 1,493,100 to 1,501,100. Agricultural jobs grew by 1,400 month-over-month.

Leisure and hospitality added 5,000 jobs, registering the most significant month-over payroll increase, adding 5,000 jobs. This sector led the year-over increase, adding 49,900 jobs, according to the EDD. 

Accommodation and food services saw an increase of 4,300 in job additions, followed by arts, entertainment, and recreation with 700 added. An upswing of 39,900 jobs was experienced by Accommodation and food services, where food services and drinking places employment increased by 31,200 jobs. 

Arts, entertainment, and recreation made up the remaining job expansion.

Employment advanced by 20,600 in professional and business services.

Payrolls increased in administrative and support and waste management and remediation services, up 12,400. Additionally, payrolls for professional, scientific, and technical services were up 8,800, while management of companies and enterprises decreased employment levels by 600.

California’s unemployment rate continues to decrease, reaching 4.9 percent in March 2022. Gov. Gavin Newsom’s office reported that California has now regained nearly 90 percent of the 2,758,900 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

California’s unemployment rate jumped to 5.3 percent in March 2020, when the pandemic hit as the state’s employers lost 99,500 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to the EDD. The job losses in March ended a record job expansion in California of 120 months, which surpassed the long expansion of the 1960s. 

According to Newsom, four of California’s 11 industry sectors have now fully regained all jobs lost due to the COVID-19 Pandemic in March and April of 2020: Education & Health Services, Professional & Business Services, Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, and Construction.

Although San Diego’s unemployment rate is below the national average, it is not the lowest in the state. It was  2.5 percent in San Francisco and Santa Clara counties,3.1 percent in Orange County, 4.3 percent in San Bernardino County and Riverside counties, and 4.9 percent in Los Angeles County. 

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