SAN DIEGO (CNS) - The unemployment rate in San Diego County last month was 5.1 percent, down from 5.4 percent in July and well below the 6.6 percent rate recorded a year ago, the state Employment Development Department announced.

The jobless rate last month was 6.1 percent statewide and 5.2 percent nationwide. Neither figure is seasonally adjusted.

"San Diego continues to rise above the uncertainties facing many regions around the country," said Phil Blair, CEO of the staffing firm Manpower San Diego. "Earlier this month, we saw a weak national jobs report, but San Diego is bucking the trend and exceeding growth expectations."

Between July and August, San Diego gained 1,700 nonfarm jobs, with agricultural employment remaining unchanged last month.

The educational and health services sectors reported the greatest gain last month, adding 1,800 jobs. Health care and social assistance also increased by 1,900 jobs last month, according to the EDD.

Other sectors that added local jobs last month were: trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services and government.

More than 42,400 jobs were added over the past year, a 3.1 percent increase region-wide. Professional and business sector industries have seen the greatest growth in San Diego over the past year, adding 11,500 jobs. Jobs in the professional, scientific and technical services sectors accounted for more than 80 percent of job growth in the business sector.