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San Diego County’s unemployment rate rose to 9.4 percent last month, up from 9.2 percent in April and a dramatic spike from May 2008’s 5.4 percent, according to numbers released this morning by the state Employment Development Department.

That rate compared to the California rate of 11.2 percent and the national rate of 9.1 percent in the same period. (None of those numbers are adjusted for seasonal trends.)

California has reached the highest unemployment rate ever in the post WWII-era, the L.A. Times reported.

This new data for San Diego County didn’t beat March’s record of 9.5 percent (revised). But when the EDD first reported the March rate, it was estimated at 9.3 percent, and still set a record. April’s rate was revised to reflect a higher-than-first-estimated rate, and it is possible May’s rate will be revised higher in future months.

Between May 2008 and last month, the county lost 52,200 jobs, a 4 percent decrease. Rich Toscano pointed out that April’s year-over-year rate of job loss had been a new low at 3.7 percent, and these new data appear to surpass that.

The biggest cuts included a 6,900-job loss in retail, 2,300 jobs of which were in car and truck parts and dealers. Construction payrolls shrank by 11,100 jobs over the year.

There were slight year-over-year gains in farming (200 jobs) and government. Local governments lost 1,200 jobs but federal and state agencies added 1,300 and 200 jobs, respectively, to give the category a slight net gain.

KELLY BENNETT

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