North Bay Business Journal

Friday, March 7, 2014, 12:11 pm

North Bay counties have strong job growth in January

Napa 6.2% job growth leads North Bay

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    North Bay employment and job growth, January 2004-January 2014

    The pace of North Bay annual job growth seemed to have plateaued since late 2012, stabilizing around 4 percent. (click to enlarge)

    While jobless rates increased in North Bay in January because of seasonal job shifts, the region had net gains of at least 16,800 jobs in January from a year before, according to state figures released March 7.

    The unadjusted unemployment rate for California was 8.5 percent and for the U.S., 7.0 percent, according to estimates from the California Employment Development Department.

    Sonoma County

    The unemployment rate in Sonoma County was 6.2 percent in January, down two percentage points from a year before but up from a revised 5.7 percent in December.

    Annual industry job growth was 4.5 percent, or 8,100 positions. Total industry employment was 188,900.

    Growth industries were government, up 15.4 percent, or 4,300 jobs; professional and business services, up 5.6 percent, or 1,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, which is heavily affected by retail and wholesale companies, up 2.9 percent, or 1,000 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 2.8 percent, or 600 jobs; manufacturing, up 3.1 percent, or 600 positions; and construction, up 2.2 percent, or 200 jobs.

    The 4,300-job annual gain in government employment was led by special government districts — that includes native tribes — education, and the county and municipalities. Special districts included a net gain of 2,000 jobs. That is largely attributed to the opening of Graton Casino & Resort in Rohnert Park in November.

    In education, there was a net gain of 1,600 employed by local government and 400 by the state, up 11.5 percent and 19.0 percent, respectively. Other local government gains were 300 more county positions and 100 more at municipalities, up 7.0 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

    Growth in manufacturing employment was all in nondurable goods, which includes wine, beer and food, up 5.7 percent, or 600 jobs, over 12 months.

    The only industry to decrease in jobs from January 2013 was education and health services, which edged downward 0.3 percent, or by 100 positions.

    The department said there are some differences in this release of industry employment figures because of an annual revision to align job categories with those of the U.S. Department of Labor. The primary change was inclusion of data for the California In-Home Supportive Services program, now tracked in figures starting January 2013 under education and health services.

    Solano County

    Solano County jobless rate was 8.1 percent in January, up from a revised 7.4 percent in December but below 9.9 percent.

    The county had net annual industry job growth of 2.7 percent, or 3,300, increasing to 127,800 positions.

    Leading growth industries were trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,800 jobs, or 7.3 percent; leisure and hospitality, up 5.9 percent, or 800 jobs; education and health services, up 1.8 percent, or 400 jobs; and 300 more in manufacturing and government, up 3.0 percent and 1.3 percent, respectively.

    Marin County

    Marin County’s unemployment rate was 4.7 percent in January, up from a revised 4.2 percent the previous month but down from 5.8 percent a year before. Marin retained its statewide status of having the lowest jobless rate.

    Current industry employment figures for Marin aren’t yet available.

    Napa County

    The unemployment rate in Napa County slipped 1.8 percentage points over 12 months to 6.4 percent in January, up from a revised 6.0 percent in December.

    Annual industry job growth was 6.2 percent in January, rising by 4,100 jobs to a total of 69,900. The top job-gaining industries were education and health services, up 8.8 percent, or 800 net new jobs; 700 more each in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and professional and business services, up 6.5 percent, 7.0 percent and 11.9 percent, respectively; construction, up 19.2 percent, or 500 jobs; and retail-led trade, transportation and utilities, up 4.3 percent, or 400 jobs.

    Beverage production, dominated by the wine industry, led manufacturing employment gains, up 11.3 percent, or 900 jobs, from the previous January.

    Mendocino County

    The proportion of official joblessness in Mendocino County was 7.8 percent in January, down 1.8 percentage points from a year before but up from a revised rate of 7.1 percent in December.

    The state estimated that industry employment grew 2.1 percent to 30,870 jobs over 12 months, a gain of 630 jobs.

    Industries propelling that growth included construction, up 23.5 percent, or 190 net new jobs.

    Lake County

    Lake County’s unemployment rate was 11.8 percent in January, up from a revised rate of 11.1 percent in December but down from 14.7 percent the previous January.

    Industry jobs increased 5.0 percent, or a net gain of 720 positions, to 15,000 over 12 months. Leading growth industries were retail, up by 6.2 percent or 120 jobs; and education and health services, up 16.1 percent or 600 jobs.

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