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San Diego unemployment grows as economic slowdown lengthens

In March and April, nearly 50,000 workers lost their jobs.

SAN DIEGO — The San Diego Workforce Partnership released data Thursday showing layoffs in the last month and a half in the San Diego region have exceeded 20 times the average yearly number.

Usually by the end of the year -- since 2015 -- between 3,000 and 7,000 workers are laid off in some capacity in the county. In March and April, nearly 50,000 workers lost their jobs, according to the partnership.

A total of 46,217 employees have lost jobs at 326 businesses reporting layoffs related to COVID-19, an increase of 13,500 jobs and 102 businesses from last week's data.

These numbers come from businesses which self-report and may not represent the true impact to workers and employers in the region, a partnership document stated.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, more than 660,000 Californians filed for unemployment, down from the previous two weeks at about 1 million unemployment claims each.

In the workforce partnership data, restaurant and bar employees and hospitality employees are by far the hardest hit, with 15,845 and 14,104 jobs lost in those industries, respectively.

Retail jobs have dropped by more than 5,000, and arts, entertainment and recreation jobs are down more than 4,400.

Peter Callstrom, president and CEO of the San Diego Workforce Partnership, said his organization was working to find jobs for people out of work.

"Our team is kicking into overdrive to identify the region's open jobs and to connect job seekers with opportunities in this very dynamically changing time," he said.

"Online services and support are available to workers and employers. We are here to serve our region throughout the crisis and as we recover."

Even with the partnership's efforts, only around 1,500 jobs were posted in the past week, and the majority of those were skilled positions such as software developers and registered nurses, not jobs available to the vast majority of those laid off. 

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