Unemployment rates across the North Bay increased slightly in March, but the still-high rates were well below rates a year ago, according to state figures released this morning.

[caption id="attachment_53071" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Sonoma County jobs and job growth, March 2001-March 2012 (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

The unemployment rate in the Sonoma County was 9.5 percent in March 2012, up from a revised 9.3 percent in February, but below the year-ago estimate of 10.2 percent, according to the Employment Development Department.

Over the year, the county shed 300 jobs in the financial activities sector, and another 3,400 government jobs were eliminated. Most other job sectors in the county had annual gains.

Marin County continued to post the lowest rate in California, but its rated edged upward in March to 7 percent from 6.8 percent in February, but below the  year-ago estimate of 8.4 percent in March 2011.

Part of a three-county region that includes San Francisco and San Mateo counties, industry specifics for Marin are not yet available.

[caption id="attachment_53075" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Solano County jobs and job growth, March 2001-March 2012 (click to enlarge)"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_53074" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Napa County jobs and job growth, March 2001-March 2012 (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

The unemployment rate in Napa County was 9 percent in March, up from a revised 8.9 percent in February 2012 but below the year-ago estimate of 9.9 percent.

The government sector lost 200 jobs over the year and 100 over the month.

The unemployment rate in Solano County was 11.1 percent in March 2012, up from a revised 10.9 percent in February 2012, but below the year-ago estimate of 12.1 percent.

Like in Sonoma and Napa counties, Solano's government sector had the biggest loss, with 700 eliminated over the year.

[caption id="attachment_53073" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Mendocino County jobs and job growth, March 2001-March 2012 (click to enlarge)"][/caption] [caption id="attachment_53072" align="alignright" width="220" caption="Lake County jobs and job growth, March 2001-March 2012 (click to enlarge)"][/caption]

Lake County's rate in March was 16.8 percent, up slightly from 16.5 percent in February but below the 18.4 percent rate in March 2011.

Mendocino County had a rate of 11.5 percent in March, compared with 11.2 percent in February but under last year's rate of 12.3 percent. 

The government sector in the county lost 130 jobs over the year.

The unadjusted unemployment rate for California in March was virtually unchanged from February at 11.5 percent, but 6o basis points below the rate the previous March. The U.S. rate was 8.4 percent in March.  Unemployment rates for North Bay counties

CountyMarch

2011February

2012March

2012State rank

(out of 58)

Lake18.4%16.5%16.8%43

Marin8.4%6.8%7%1 

Mendocino12.3%11.2%11.5%20 

Napa9.9%8.9%9%7 

Solano12.1%10.9%11.1%18 

Sonoma10.2%9.3%9.5%9 

California12.1%11.4%11.5%--

U.S.9.2%8.7%8.4%--

Source: California Employment Development Department and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.