Ian Pike 8 a.m., March 8
Local Unemployment Hits 10.4% in August
San Diego County's unemployment rate was 10.4% in August, unchanged from a revised 10.4% July. Originally, July was reported at 10.3%. San Diego's 10.4% compares with 12.1 for California and 9.6% for the U.S. Consumer spending continues to be weak with one exception: locals seem to be drowning their sorrows, maintaining their spending in drinking places. Retail jobs were down 0.4% from July and down 5.9% from a year earlier. Jobs at sporting goods, book and hobby stores were down 10.8% from a year ago and clothing stores employment was down 5.6%. But spending in food services and drinking places rose 2.6% from July, the best performance. It's down only 3.3% from a year ago. All told, the county gained 1,400 jobs from July but lost 55,600 from August of 2008.