North Bay jobless rates rise except Napa; state at 11.9%

NORTH BAY - Unemployment continued to rise, though less dramatically, in all regions of North Bay last month except for Napa where it was stable, according to state Employment Development Department reports.

Sonoma County's jobless rate crept to 10.3 percent last month, up from 10.2 percent in June and far above a year ago estimate of 6 percent. The state agency calculates the rates according to the number of people actively seeking jobs. The county reported 10,200 fewer jobs last month than the same time last year and a loss of about 2,600 positions between June and July.

Trade, transportation and utilities dominated the year-over-year losses, dropping by about 2,600. Construction and manufacturing also posted significant losses during the last 12 months, losing 2,000 and 2,100 respectively. Leisure and hospitality shed about 1,600 positions year-over-year and business and professional services, financial activities and other services also dropped. Education, health, information, mining and logging were the only sectors that reported the same number of positions as July 2008.

After dropping in May and increasing slightly in June, Napa unemployment rates were stable last month at about 8.8 percent, though far above last year's 4.8 percent. The county shed a net of 5,400 jobs in the past 12 months, and 800 between June and July. Most sectors did not add or lose positions between those months, but all except information, government and health and education posted losses year-over-year. Manufacturing lost the most jobs in the last 12 months, dropping by about 1,300, followed by leisure and hospital, which is down by 1,000.

Marin County's jobless rate was 8.2 percent in July, slightly up from 8 percent the previous month. Industry-specific figures were not available for Marin.

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