The unemployment rate in San Diego County dropped to 6.4 percent last month, the lowest level since September 2008, the state Employment Development Department announced Friday.
The figure compares with a revised 6.9 percent reported by the EDD for November.
The seasonally unadjusted statewide unemployment rate for December was 7.9 percent, while the rate was 6.5 percent in the U.S., according to the agency.
The EDD data showed the jobs picture was helped by retail hiring during the holidays and new positions in healthcare.
Out of a civilian job force of around 1.6 million, the number of unemployed people in San Diego County was 101,800, the EDD reported. There were 29,000 fewer jobless San Diegans than December 2012, and around 23,000 more who were working, the data showed.
For 2013 as a whole, the job-losing industries in San Diego were manufacturing, which shed 1,600 positions, and information—such as publishing and broadcasting, which dropped 500 employees.
However, construction—a hard-hit sector during the recession—added 5,700 positions over the course of last year. Education and health services gained even more, 6,200 jobs.
Leisure and hospitality jobs -- mainly in restaurants and hotels—picked up 5,600 jobs last year, according to the EDD.
—City News Service