Unemployment rate in SD county rises

The unemployment rate in San Diego County rose to 7.4 percent last month, the highest level since 1994, the California Employment Development Department reported Friday.

December’s unemployment rate for San Diego County was up from a revised 6.9 percent in November, and above the year-ago estimate of 5 percent, according to the EDD.

According to the EDD’s Barbara Ruehl, it was the highest unemployment rate in San Diego County for any December going back to 1990.

Usually the unemployment rate goes down from November to December because it is the peak of the holiday shopping and travel season, she said.

Between November and December, the San Diego region shed 1,100 jobs, most in the leisure and hospitality sector.

The unadjusted unemployment rate in California last month was 9.1 percent, up from 8.3 percent the previous month, according to the EDD.

The national unemployment rate in December was 7.1 percent.

“Every day I think about the Californians who have lost their jobs during this tough economic time - and that is exactly why I am fighting for aggressive economic stimulus in state budget negotiations,’’ Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

“Our increasing unemployment rate makes it clear that the crisis in our nation’s economy that has led to job losses is completely tied to our state budget shortfall,’’ he said. “We cannot solve our fiscal problems without working to stimulate our economy, which is why I have continued to push for all four elements needed to put our state on the right track: spending reductions, increasing revenues, making government run more efficiently and stimulating our economy by putting people back to work and helping families stay in their

homes. Today’s unfortunate news makes it even more clear that all four elements

are necessary immediately.’'