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North Bay Business Journal

Friday, October 21, 2011, 11:47 am

Unemployment rates drop slightly in September

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    NORTH BAY — Unemployment rates across the North Bay edged downward in September, as the school year and harvest season spurred job growth in some counties while professional services grew in others, according to the state Employment Development Department. 

    Sonoma County’s unemployment rate was 9.4 percent in September, down from a revised 10 percent in August and below last year’s estimate of 11.4 percent. A total of 3,400 jobs were added, compared to a loss of 1,400. The government sector added 3,900 jobs, while the farm industry added 900. Those gains, however, were offset by a loss of 500 jobs in leisure and hospitality and 400 in manufacturing.

    Marin County, part of the three-county West Bay Region that includes San Francisco and San Mateo counties, continued to have the lowest unemployment rate in California, at 7.4 percent. Across the three-county region, government added 2,100 jobs, mostly from seasonal additions at local schools. Over the last year, professional and business services has added 10,700 jobs.

    Napa County’s unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in September, down from 8.8 percent the previous month and below last year’s rate of 9.2 percent. The government sector added 400 jobs and farming added 200. The county lost 400 jobs over the month but has added 1,400 over the course of the year.

    In Solano County, the unemployment rate was 11 percent, down from a revised 11.6 percent in August and below last year’s rate of 11.7 percent. The county netted 500 jobs between August and September, mostly in education and health services, but lost 1,300 over the course of the year.

    Mendocino County had a jobless rate of 10.1 percent in September, down from 10.7 in August and down from last year’s rate of 10.5 percent.

    Lake County continued to post high a unemployment rate, though it was down to 15.8 percent in September compared to 16.6 percent in August and 17 percent last year.

    California’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.9 percent in September.The professional and business services sector posted the largest increase over the month, adding 13,300 jobs.

    The national unemployment was unchanged in September at 9.1 percent.

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