North Bay jobless rates barely changed in February

NORTH BAY -- Unemployment rates across the North Bay remained high in February and were barely changed from January, but all six counties had considerably lower rates than a year before, according to state figures released this morning.Sonoma County

Sonoma County had an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent in February, unchanged from January and below the previous February's rate of 10.3 percent, according to the Employment Development Department.

Industry employment grew over the year by 0.3 percent to 173,200 jobs from 172,700.

The professional and business services sector posted the most growth, with 900 jobs. Over the last month, education and health services added 500 jobs, while government added 400 and professional services gained 300.Marin County

Marin County, part of a three-county region that includes San Mateo and San Francisco, continued to post the lowest rate in California, at 6.6 percent in February, unchanged from January and below the year-ago rate of 8.1 percent. Industry-specific data for Marin is not yet available.Napa County

Napa County's rate edged downward to 8.9 percent in February from 9.2 percent in January, compared to 10.1 percent the previous February.

The number of industry jobs grew 2.2 percent to 64,000 in February from 63,600 a year before.

The biggest yearly gains came in construction and leisure and hospitality, which each added 500 jobs, while professional and business services and education and health added 300 a piece.  Over the month, construction added 400 jobs.Solano County

The jobless rate in Solano County crept upward to 10.9 percent in February from 10.8 percent in January, compared with 12.2 percent in February 2011.

The number of jobs grew 3.5 percent to 121,100 over the year from 117,000.

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