Walter Mencken 7 p.m., Dec. 10
San Diego Unemployment Rises to 5.1 Percent in January; County Loses 26,200 Jobs
San Diego County's unemployment rate rose to 5.1 percent in January, up from 5 percent in December and 4.4 percent a year ago, the state's Employment Development Department announced today (Fri.) The county lost 26,200 jobs in January, a decline of 2 percent. For the full year between January of 2007 and January of 2008, there was a gain of 4,900 jobs, or 0.4 percent. As was to be expected, construction jobs dropped 2.4 percent in January from December and 7.4 percent from a year ago. Retail jobs were down 5.1 percent from December, a loss that could be anticipated, but they were also down 1.1 percent from a year earlier. Murtaza H. Baxamusa of the Center on Policy Initiatives, said the decline of 1,200 jobs in employment services is surprising, because "employers are more likely to hire temporary workers in a slow economy."