San Diego unemployment hit 9.3 percent in March. This is the highest level in the three-decade history of the unemployment data series.

The below chart shows unemployment trends now and during the prior two recessions. In addition to the magnitude of unemployment, the abruptness of the rise surpasses anything seen in the last two downturns.

Here’s a look at the year-over-year percent change for each of the three sectors that prospered and, eventually, suffered with the housing market. The graph also includes the remaining sectors of the economy grouped together in green as well as the overall economy in orange.

While the three housing beneficiary sectors were still shrinking, it was the rest of the economy that really accelerated its decline last month. Particularly hard-hit were the manufacturing sector, which was down 6.4 percent from a year prior, and the wholesale trade sector, down 7.3 percent for the year. The only two major sectors that grew for the year were education and health, rising at a rate of .4 percent, and government, which squeeked out a .1 percent increase.

The San Diego economy as a whole lost 44,600 jobs from a year prior, a decline of 3.4 percent.


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