San Diego County payrolls shrunk by 0.9 percent or 12,200 jobs between October 2007 and October 2008, the state Employment Development Department reported this morning.

The biggest losses came in construction, which contracted by 5,800 jobs, and in retail, which lost 4,100 jobs. And 1,100 of those lost retail jobs were in motor vehicles and parts dealers.

The unemployment rate rose to 6.8 percent in October, up from 6.5 percent the month before and up significantly from the 4.8 percent rate in October 2007.

The local unemployment rate compared to 8 percent for the state in the same period, and 6.1 percent nationwide. (None of those rates have been seasonally adjusted.)

In a monthly comparison to September, the economy’s biggest gains came from jobs in schools, both public and private. Leisure and hospitality lost 3,800 jobs over the month, a typical seasonal shedding of summer tourism jobs, according to the EDD.

KELLY BENNETT

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