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The San Diego County labor market has steadily expanded, increasing 2.2% between October 2015 and October 2016. Nonfarm employment has continued to grow (also by 2.2% from October 2015 to October 2016) but is gradually decelerating from 2015 highs and the latest expansions place San Diego County slightly behind the state in terms of rate of growth.
With a local unemployment rate of 4.7%, which signals the region is close to full employment, job growth has been primarily fueled by the entrance of new jobseekers into the labor market. This has been considerable: The local labor force’s 2.2% growth represented 34,700 new jobs. The County’s unemployment rate fell by 0.3-percentage points year-over-year as employers absorbed many new jobseekers into the workforce.
Overall, job gains were fueled by outsized growth in major employment sectors, including Education and Health Care (+3.3% year-over-year), Leisure and Hospitality (+3.0% year-over-year) and Professional, Science, and Technology (+2.7% year-over-year). Employment gains in the latter sector have been particularly concentrated in the Architectural, Engineering and Related Services subsector, where employers added 2,000 positions in the last year. The 9.9% growth in this subsector year-over-year represents the strongest increase since...