Unemployment rates ticked up across the North Bay in July, as end-of-school-year staffing changes dragged on jobs data for a second month, according to preliminary state figures released Friday.
The estimated unemployment rate in the Sonoma County was 5.8 percent last month, up from a revised 5.3 percent in June but far below the year-ago estimate of 7.0 percent.
This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.8 percent for California and 6.5 percent for the nation during the same period.
Among five of the six North Bay counties to remain in top third of the 58 California counties with the lowest rates of unemployment, Sonoma County ranked No. 6, ahead of Mendocino County at No. 14 and Solano County at No. 19 but after Napa County at No. 4 and Marin County still at No. 1. Lake County ranked No. 40.
Year-over-year job growth was 1.6 percent for Sonoma County, up 3,100 jobs. The 1,900 additional jobs connected to the new Graton Resort & Casino continue to the big boost in that growth figure. Yet there was 3.4 percent growth in manufacturing, with 700 more jobs; 8.2 percent growth in administrative and support services, up 700 jobs; and 2.8 percent growth in general merchandise stores, up a net of 100 jobs, despite a 1.7 percent, or 400 job, drop in retail employment overall.
Solano County’s unemployment rate was 7.2 percent in July, up from a revised 6.8 percent rate in June but below the 8.6 percent estimate of a year ago.
Industry employment grew 1.2 percent, or by 1,500 jobs, to 128,900 in the past 12 months. The leading job-gaining industry over the year was trade, transportation and utilities, up 2.3 percent, or 600 positions, to 26,300. In that industry, retail went up 1.7 percent, or 300 jobs, to 17,600, and wholesale trade, 4.8 percent, 200 jobs, to 4,400.
Health care and social assistance jobs increased to 21,700 jobs over the year, up 2.4 percent, or by 500 positions.
Marin County’s jobless rate was 4.4 percent in July, up from a revised rate of 4.0 percent in June but down a full percentage point from 5.7 percent the previous July.
Job-growth data for Marin this year isn’t yet available separately from the state’s amalgamation of data from San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties. But Marin job growth was up 4.1 percent in December, adding 4,400 jobs from a year before. Total industry employment was 112,800 at year-end.
The unemployment rate in the Napa County was 5.1 percent in July, up from a revised 4.7 percent in June but below the year-ago estimate of 6.2 percent.
The county added 1,900 jobs over 12 months, up 2.6 percent to 74,800 positions in July. Manufacturing employment increased 5.0 percent over the year to 12,500 jobs, led by 8.8 percent year-over-year growth, or a net gain of 800 jobs, in beverage production, mostly for the county’s top industry, wine.
The hospitality industry had 2.6 percent growth to 11,800 jobs, a net addition of 300.
Another growing industry is professional and business services, up 9.0 percent over 12 months to 7,300 positions, a net gain of 600.
The official jobless rate in Mendocino County was 6.6 percent in July, up from 6.0 percent in June and 7.7 percent the previous July.
The stretch of virtually flat annual job growth since April continued last month, when the county eked out 0.3 percent more jobs, or 100, from the previous July, reaching 31,390 positions. Growth in construction — 14.0 percent, or 140 jobs — and manufacturing — 2.8 percent, or 70 jobs, mainly in nondurable goods such as wine — was offset by a net loss of 230 jobs over the year in services sectors.
The unemployment rate in the Lake County was 9.7 percent in July, up from a revised 9.1 percent in June but below the year-ago estimate of 11.5 percent.
Job growth was 1.3 percent from the previous July, up 200 positions to 15,950. A major contributor was retail, up 4.9 percent, or 100 jobs, to 2,150.
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