Unemployment rates across the North Bay had the seasonal drop in April from March but were markedly improved from figures for the previous April, as private-sector hiring increased in some counties while it remained flat in others, according to state figures released today.Sonoma County

Sonoma County's April jobless rate, preliminarily figured to be of 8.6 percent, was the lowest for the county in three years and much improved from the 9.6 percent rate a year before, according to preliminary figures from the Employment Development Department. The March unemployment estimate was revised to 9.5 percent.

As the weather warmed and construction activity picked up from March to April, the county had positive growth in construction and manufacturing, which added 400 and 500 jobs, respectively, and leisure and hospitality, which added 300 jobs. The government sector posted a gain of 500 jobs, as well.

Over the year, professional services gained 1,000 jobs; manufacturing, 1,600; and construction, 600.Solano County

The estimate for the proportion of unemployed in Solano County was 10.2 percent in April, down from a revised 11.1 percent in March, and below the year-ago estimate of 11.4 percent.

There was little job growth from March to April. However, Solano had a marked yearly improvement in a number of sectors. Trade, transportation and utilities added 1,400 jobs; education and health services, 1,000; leisure and hospitality, 800; and professional and business services, 500.Marin County

Marin County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 6.4 percent in April, compared with 7 percent in March and 7.6 percent in April 2011.

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

Napa County's unemployment rate estimate was 8.3 percent in April 2012, down from a revised 9.0 percent in March 2012, and below the year-ago estimate of 9.3 percent.

The county had no growth from March, but from the previous April, leisure and hospitality and education as well as health services added 100 jobs each.Mendocino County

Mendocino County's unemployment rate was estimated to be 10.5 percent  in April, down from 11.5 percent  in March and below the previous April's rate of 11.4 percent.

Over the month, mining and logging added 30 jobs, while education and health services added 80.Lake County

The unemployment rates in Lake County were a preliminary 15.6 percent in April and revised 16.9 percent in March, much improved from 17.3 percent in April 2011.

Farming had the highest yearly growth, posting 410 jobs, while trade, transportation and utilities added 100 jobs.California and U.S.

The preliminary estimate for the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in April was 10.9 percent for California, down from a revised rate of 11.0 percent in March and 11.8 percent in April of last year. For the nation, the seasonally adjusted rate was preliminarily estimated to be 8.1 percent in April, improved from a revised rate of 8.2 percent in March and 9.0 percent the previous April.Unemployment rates for North Bay countiesAreaApril





2012State rank

(out of 58)Lake Co.17.3% 16.9% 15.6% 43 Marin Co.7.6%  7.0%  6.4% 1 Mendocino Co.11.4% 11.5% 10.5% 19 Napa Co.9.3% 9.0% 8.3% 8 Solano Co.11.4% 11.1% 10.2% 18 Sonoma Co.9.6% 9.5% 8.6% 9 California11.8% 11.0% 10.9% --U.S.8.1% 8.2% 9.0% --

Source: California Employment Development Department.