News Release

10.27.2021 | News Release

SANDAG has unveiled a new interactive data tool that highlights key findings about unemployment in the San Diego region. The interactive tool allows policymakers, businesses, and members of the public to gain a better understanding of the impact of pandemic related unemployment.

As of September 2021, the San Diego region’s unemployment rate was 5.6%, with 86,100 people out of work according to data from the State of California Employment Development Department included in SANDAG’s interactive tool. This regional unemployment rate is still nearly twice as high as the pre-pandemic unemployment rate (3.2%).

The new SANDAG tool also identifies high unemployment areas by ZIP code. Logan Heights (92113) continues to have the highest unemployment rate in the region, with an estimated 9.0% unemployment rate in September 2021.

Other ZIP codes experiencing high unemployment as of September 2021 include:
• 92173 San Ysidro (8.6%)
• 91906 Campo (7.9%)
• 92070 Santa Ysabel (7.7%)
• 92086 Warner Springs (7.6%)
• 91911 Chula Vista S (7.6%)
• 92114 Encanto (7.3%)
• 92061 Pauma Valley (7.3%)
• 92105 City Heights (7.2%)
• 92020 El Cajon (7.1%)

 “While care must be taken not to read too much into one month of data, the unemployment rate decrease seen in the September data reflects a few trends present in pre-pandemic employment data,” said SANDAG Chief Economist Ray Major. “Federal unemployment benefits ended on September 4, which may have contributed to the decrease.”

The COVID-19 pandemic also presented tremendous challenges for individuals and households without internet access. There is significant overlap between areas that continue to face high unemployment rates and areas with little to no broadband access identified by recent SANDAG research.

These issues underscore the need to increase equity in the San Diego region, a key goal of the SANDAG 2021 Regional Plan. The proposed plan will improve access to employment centers, education, healthcare, and other key destinations by expanding convenient and reliable transportation options. 

The general impact of the pandemic on workers and businesses continues to trend downward as vaccination rates improve and infection rates lessen. However, workers may still feel uncomfortable or unsafe returning to in-person jobs, COVID-related restrictions on business or travel may still be in place, and supply-chain difficulties may also have an impact on business operations.

Unemployment rates in the San Diego region rose during the worst months of the pandemic last winter, and again this summer.

For media inquiries, please contact Stacy Garcia at 619.699.1950 or