North Bay Business Journal

Friday, May 16, 2014, 2:45 pm

North Bay joblessness lowest in six years

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    Hiring picked up in April in counties across the North Bay, pushing unemployment rates to the lowest levels since the 2008 economic recession, according to preliminary state figures released Friday.

    Sonoma County

    Sonoma County jobs and job growth - April 2004-2014The jobless rate for Sonoma County fell to 5.3 percent in April from a revised 6.2 percent in March, according to the Employment Development Department. The rate the previous April was 6.7 percent.

    This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.3 percent for California and 5.9 percent for the nation during the same period.

    The estimated county rate in last month was the lowest since 5.0 percent in May 2008 and has been declining since the peak of 11.2 percent in early 2010, according to state figures.

    With North Bay unemployment at levels not seen since 2008, has the economy fully recovered?

    • Yes (14%, 9 votes)
    • No (81%, 51 votes)
    • Don't know (5%, 3 votes)

    Total voters: 63
    Polling period: May 21, 2014 @ 12:00 pm – May 28, 2014 @ 12:00 pm

    Loading ... Loading ...

    Industrial employment over 12 months grew 4.1 percent, or 7,600 positions, to 193,100. Without farming, growth was 4.3 percent, the highest such annual rate of growth in the North Bay last month.

    The government sector led the way in yearly hiring, with 4,500 new positions. A portion of those jobs are likely related to the Graton Casino, which is classified in government because its by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. The casino has said it would hire up to 2,000 full-time employees. To that end, special government districts, which include Indian tribes, grew at a yearly pace of 133.3 percent, to 3,500 jobs from 1,500 a year before.

    Other yearly gains occurred in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 1,300 jobs, while manufacturing added 600. Construction and professional business services each added 500, while education and health added 300.

    Over the month, Sonoma County added 1,700 jobs.

    Marin County

    Marin County continued to post the lowest jobless rate in California, 3.9 percent. That’s the county’s lowest jobless rate since December 2007.

    The revised March rate was 4.7 percent, barely changed from 4.8 percent in April of last year.

    Industry payroll figures are not yet available for Marin.

    Solano County

    Solano County jobs and job growth - April 2004-2014The unemployment rate in the Solano County was 7.0 percent in April — the lowest it’s been since June 2008. That’s down from a revised rate of 8.0 percent in March and 8.3 percent the previous April.

    Over 12 months, the county added 2,100 jobs, with trades, transportation and utilities adding 1,300.  Education and health added 400 jobs, while manufacturing added 300.

    Total non-farm jobs grew by a rate of 2.1 percent.

    Napa County

    Napa County jobs and job growth - April 2004-2014The unemployment rate in the Napa County was 5.0 percent in April, down from a revised 6.0 percent in March, and below the year-ago estimate of 6.2 percent. It’s also the county’s lowest rate since October 2008.

    A total of 2,500 jobs were added over the year, with manufacturing adding 800, professional business services adding 600, education and health adding 500 and leisure and hospitality adding 400. Professional business services — specifically administrative and support and waste services — grew by 21 percent over the year, while manufacturing, which includes wine, grew by nearly 11 percent.

    Over the month, Napa County added 1,300 jobs, with the tourism sector leading the way at 300.

    The county’s total employment picture grew by 4 percent for all non-farm jobs

    Mendocino County

    Mendocinio County jobs and job growth - April 2004-2014Mendocino County had a jobless rate of 6.7 percent, down from 7.9 percent last month and below last year’s rate of 7.8 percent. It’s the lowest rate for Mendocino since October 2008.

    Yearly growth occurred in leisure and hospitality, at 150 jobs, construction, which added 140 jobs and manufacturing, which added 120. The construction sector in Mendocino grew by nearly 16 percent over the year, while manufacturing grew at a pace of about 5 percent.

    But the county’s overall jobs base barely budged, up 0.2 percent for total nonfarm positions.

    Lake County

    Lake County jobs and job growth - April 2004-2014Lake County’s unemployment rate was 10.2 percent in April, down from a revised 11.6 percent in March and below the year-ago estimate of 12 percent. It’s the lowest jobless rate for the county since September 2008.

    Total nonfarm jobs in Lake County grew at a pace of 3 percent over the year. Retail led the way with a growth rate of nearly 12 percent.

    April payroll job growth and unemployment

    Area Annual job growth Jobless rate State rank
    California 2.4% 7.3%
    Lake County 2.8% 10.2% 37
    Marin County n/a 3.9% 1
    Napa County 3.5% 5.0% 4
    Solano County 1.7% 7.0% 18
    Sonoma County 4.1% 5.3% 7

    Notes: All jobs. Marin County jobs data for 2013–2014 aren’t available. Source: California Employment Development Department.

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    1 Comment

    1. May 29, 2014, 4:32 pm

      by Randy Merced

      who can afford to live here? I work in Napa making 100k and I am almost homeless… California is a nice place to visit but living here is ridiculous.

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