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San Diego County’s unemployment rate rose to 5.9 percent in June, marking an increase from 5.5 percent in May and an even bigger increase from the 4.6 percent rate in June 2007, according to numbers released this morning by the state Employment Development Department.

The statewide rate was 7.0 in June and the nation’s was 5.7 percent.

Sectors showing the largest job losses were the usual suspects: construction and financial services. Seven of every 10 jobs lost in financial services were in real estate, rental and leasing.

The biggest gains were in leisure and hospitality.

Murtaza Baxamusa, research and policy director for local nonprofit Center on Policy Initiatives, sent me an e-mail as soon as the numbers came out this morning. He said he’s concerned about the jump in the rate, especially despite significant growth in the often low-paying leisure and hospitality sector.

This is a double-whammy for our region, not only are we lagging behind the rest of the country in the number of jobs, we are adding jobs that make it difficult for workers to make ends meet.

KELLY BENNETT

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