Sonoma back to more than 10 percent jobless

NORTH BAY -- The encouraging dip in unemployment rates in September did not last as rates increased in the North Bay last month, according to state Employment Development Department reports released today.

Sonoma County's jobless rate once again breached 10 percent in October, rising to 10.1 percent from 9.9 percent in September. The rate was 6.1 percent in October 2008. The state agency calculates the rates according to the number of people actively seeking jobs.

Sonoma reported 9,200 fewer jobs last month than the same time last year, but added 600 positions between this September and October. Manufacturing dropped the most jobs year over year, sliding by 2,200. Construction and trade, transportation and utilities both shed 1,700 in the past 12 months, and government lost 1,300. Information was the only sector to increase positions year over year, adding 100.

Napa County, which also experienced a slight drop between August and September, swelled to 9 percent in October, up from 8.7 percent the previous month. The county’s October 2008 rate was 5.2 percent.

Napa lost about 4,500 jobs from year to year, losing the most in manufacturing and leisure and hospitality, about 1,200 and 1,000 positions, respectively. Educational and health services were the only sectors to add positions in the past 12 months, increasing slightly by 100. The county lost 200 positions between September and October.

After falling slightly, Marin County's jobless rate increased to 8.1 percent from 8 percent last month. Industry-specific figures were not available for Marin.

The jobless rate in Solano County increased to 12 percent last month, up from 11.6 in September and 7.5 percent in October 2008. The region shed 5,100 positions in the past year and 300 between September and October. Construction continued to lead the greatest number of losses with 1,400 fewer jobs than the same time last year. Trade, transportation and utilities was the second-highest losing sector, dropping by 1,100 year over year, and government lost 900. No sectors increased year over year, but education and health services, information and logging and mining were stable.

California’s October unemployment rate also increased after a slight decrease in September, hitting 12.5 percent in October up from 12 percent.  The national rate was stable at 9.5 percent.