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No newsflash here: the region has lost jobs in construction and finance while it has gained jobs in leisure/hospitality over the year, according to a new report. (Read my recent story about the trend for more.)

The trend affected an unemployment rate of 5 percent for San Diego County in February, the state’s Employment Development Department reported today in its initial estimate for the month.

The 5 percent rate was down from a revised 5.2 percent jobless rate in January and up from February 2007’s 4.3 percent. It compared to 6.1 percent in California and 5.2 percent for the nation in February.

Between January and February this year, the biggest job gains were in government (the lion’s share in public education, despite the grim budget news for next year), and in leisure and hospitality.

And among losses in trade, transportation and utilities, the retail trade shed 2,100 jobs, with 900 jobs lost each in clothing and general merchandise stores. Those jobs are often among the first cut in slow economic periods like the one that has been called a recession, San Diego-style.

KELLY BENNETT

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