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San Diego County lost 3,600 jobs between August and September, but the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7% in September from a revised 10.2% in August, according to the California Employment Development Department.

A major reason is that discouraged workers dropped out of the labor force, pushing the unemployment rate down. Leisure and hospitality jobs dropped 6,500 from August, with arts and entertainment jobs down 3,400 and accommodation and food service down 3,100.

This is a seasonal factor. The visitor industry normally drops off after August when young people return to school. The county gained 17,300 jobs from September of 2010 to September of 2011.

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