[caption id="attachment_29315" align="alignleft" width="400" caption="Annual job growth for Sonoma County shows the recession and recovery of the early part of this decade and the massive retrenchment in employment following the financial crisis. Losses in countywide employment began to reverse themselves in mid-2009, although the number of unemployed remained at historic highs. (Chart by North Bay Business Journal based on California Employment Development Department data. Click on image to enlarge.)"][/caption]

Hiring  by employers in Sonoma County starting in mid-2009 turned a rapid two-year erosion in employment into even faster improvement, according to the latest state figures. The result was annual job growth of 0.7 percent, or 1,200 net new jobs, in December 2010. It doesn't seem like much, but it was the first positive year-over-year growth in three years.

The employment situation in Sonoma County took a huge hit starting in mid-2007, and the annual pace job losses accelerated through 2008 and half way through 2009.

That huge drop in jobs was a farther, faster fall than during the 2001 recession and two-year recovery.

For more on this trend, see "Sonoma County has first annual net increase in jobs in three years."