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North Bay Business Journal

Friday, July 16, 2010, 2:28 pm

Unemployment rates remain high in June, barely changed from May

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    Unemployment rates for North Bay counties remained high in June and mirrored those for the state and nation, with rates changed less than a half-percentage point from May and some the same as in June 2009, according to state figures released today.

    Marin County continued to have the best jobless rate in the state, although the 8.2 percent rate increased slightly from May, according to the Employment Development Department. Industry-specific information for the county isn’t available.

    Napa County retained its No. 4 ranking in the state, despite a slight increase from May from 9 percent to 9.3 percent, and nearly a percentage-point higher from June 2009 at 8.5 percent. The net 300-job gain from May reflects seasonal hiring with 200 net new farm jobs, according to the state’s survey of local employers. Of 2,000 jobs lost year over year, 800 were in construction.

    Yet the county had 2,000 fewer jobs last month than a year prior, with a reduction of 1,400 in farming and 600 at other employers. Fifteen hundred fewer jobs over the 12-month period in the construction, education, government, financial services industries offset 900 new positions in manufacturing, professional services and the leisure and hospitality industry.

    Sonoma County’s unemployment rate increased to 10.4 percent from 10.0 percent in May and 10.1 percent a year prior. That includes 900 net fewer jobs in May and 4,200 fewer from June 2009.The only sector to see a slight increase in hiring in Sonoma County was education and health services, which added 100 jobs from May to June, and 300 over the course of the year for a total gain of 400. Construction declined by 1,300 jobs year over year, though 200 jobs were added from May to June.

    Solano County jumped half a percentage point from May to June and more than one full point from a year ago, giving it the biggest increase in unemployment among North Bay counties over last month. In June 2010 it was 12.2 percent compared with 11.7 percent in May and 11.0 percent in June 2009. The county lost 3,500 jobs over the year, although over the past month it broke even on new jobs and lost jobs, at 500 apiece. Four hundred of those jobs lost were in government, while the biggest net was in leisure and hospitality at 300.

    Lake County, while still ranked 50th out of 58 in the state, was the only county to see a decrease in unemployment, from 17.1 percent in May to 16.8 percent in June. However, the June 2010 rate is two full points higher than June 2009 at 14.8 percent. Over the month, 610 jobs were added in the county, with farming accounting for the vast majority of those jobs at a net 500.

    Mendocino County, meanwhile, remained unchanged at 10.8 percent over the last month, but is nearly a point higher than this time last year, which was 10 percent. Month over month, a total of 710 jobs were added in the county, with 260 in government and 180 in farming.

    Statewide, 27,600 jobs were lost, but according to Beacon Economics, a research firm that tracks unemployment numbers and has an office in San Rafael, the bulk of those jobs were temporary census jobs that analysts knew would offer only a temporary uptick.

    “Take away census-related losses, and the state would have reported an overall gain in employment,” its summary of the newly released numbers said. Overall, the jobs lost statewide represent a .02 percent decrease in employment over the month, the report said.

    Unemployment rates for North Bay counties

    County June 2009 May 2010 June 2010 State rank
    (out of 58)
    Lake 14.8% 17.1% 16.8% 50
    Marin 8.2% 7.9% 8.2% 1
    Mendocino 10.0% 10.8% 10.8% 13
    Napa 8.5% 9.0% 9.3% 4
    Solano 11.0% 11.7% 12.2% 24
    Sonoma 10.1% 10.0% 10.4% 10
    California 11.6% 12.4% 12.2%
    U.S. 9.5% 9.7% 9.5%

    Source: California Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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