NORTH BAY – The November unemployment rates for Sonoma, Marin and Solano counties were virtually unchanged from October, while the jobless rate in that period jumped by about one percentage point in Lake and Napa counties and by 0.6 percent in Mendocino County, according to state estimates.
The rise in Napa County joblessness from 9 percent in October to 10 percent in November is connected to wine business and leisure and hospitality sector, according to state job analyst Matt Sweet.
"The big loss in Napa was in the beverage and tobacco manufacturing sector, and it's in line with what we expect this time of year with the end of the harvest," he said.
However, a decrease in 900 jobs in Napa County's leisure and hospitality sector in the 12 months ending in November, with a drop in 300 from October, was more noticeable than a similar number of jobs lost -- 800 over 12 months and 200 over a month -- in employment in that sector in Sonoma County, according to Mr. Sweet.
Compensating for that decrease in Sonoma County was a much larger job base -- 261,600 in Sonoma County versus 74,200 in Napa County -- plus an increase in 700 retail jobs from October as the holiday purchasing season began. Yet retail employment in the county last month was 600 jobs, or 2.7 percent, fewer than 12 months before.
Decreases in the leisure and hospitality sector between October and November also hit Solano County, with 300 fewer; Lake County, with 240 fewer; and Mendocino County, with 80 fewer.
Marin County continued to have the best unemployment rate in California at 8.1 percent, compared with 8.2 percent in October and 5.1 percent in November 2008. Industry-specific data are unavailable for the county.