Unemployment rates down slightly, with some positive job growth

NORTH BAY -- Unemployment rates across the North Bay either  dropped slightly or remained flat in July, with several counties showing yearly job growth in a number of industries, according to figures from the state Economic Development Department.

Each county had significantly lower rates than last year.

Sonoma County's jobless rate in July was 8.6 percent, compared to 8.7 percent in June and 10.2 percent last year. The county posted solid growth, adding a total of 7,200 jobs over the year -- the most of any North Bay county --  mostly in the private sector, with professional and business services leading the way with 1,700 jobs, followed by education and health services, which added 1,100.  The government sector added 1,200 jobs over the year. Trade, transportation and utilities followed with 1,000 new positions, and not far behind was leisure and hospitality and manufacturing, each adding 900 jobs.

Trade, transportation and utilities and leisure and hospitality each added 400 jobs over the last month.

Marin County continued to post the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 6.7 percent compared to 6.6 percent last month.  Individual statistics for Marin, part of a three-county region that includes San Francisco and San Mateo counties, are not yet available.

In Napa County, which has the fourth lowest rate in California, the July jobless rate stood at 7.7 percent, down from a revised 7.8 percent in June and below last year's estimate of 8.8 percent.

But Napa saw  negative job growth over the year, losing 700 jobs. Over the month, gains were posted in construction, manufacturing and leisure and hospitality, which each added 100 positions. The government sector, however, shed 800 jobs over the month, resulting in a net loss of 300 jobs.

Solano County had an unemployment rate of 10.3 percent, down from 10.5 percent in June and below last year's rate of 11.9 percent. The county saw positive growth over the year, adding 3,700 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities led the way with 1,300 new jobs, while leisure and hospitality added 1,000 jobs.  Education and health services and professional and business services weren't far behind, posting 900 and 700 jobs, respectively, over the year. Financial activities and construction each added 300 jobs, as wel. 

Lake County's rate was 14.7 percent, unchanged from the month before but below last year's rate of 16.2 percent. Yearly job growth occurred in farming, which added 60 jobs, while transportation, education and health services and leisure and hospitality all added 20 jobs.

Mendocino County was the only county to see its rate increase -- in July, it was 9.8 percent compared to 9.7 in June and 10.8 percent last year. Private health and education services added the most jobs, with 100, over the year.

The comparable statewide rate was  10.7 percent, unchanged from the previous month, while the national rate was 8.6 percent.

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