Staffing firms see surge in demand, including entry level

Hiring activity across the North Bay is picking up as the summer season slowdown comes to a close, particularly as the wine industry ramps up for harvest season and other employers continue to see improvements, according to employment experts.

[caption id="attachment_77677" align="alignright" width="358"] Sonoma County employment and job growth (click to enlarge)[/caption]

In June, the most recent month for available statewide figures, Sonoma County's unemployment rate edged upward to 6.7 percent from 6.1 percent in May. Likewise in Napa County, the rate ticked up to 5.8 percent in June from a revised 5.3 percent in May. The same was true in Marin and Solano counties, as well.

The next round of data, from the Employment Development Department, is scheduled for Aug. 16.

Between June and now, hiring activity has picked up significantly, according to Kelley Hartman, regional vice president of Sonoma-based Nelson Staffing.

"There's definitely a huge uptick in the wineries and manufacturing in general," Ms. Hartman said. "A lot of entry level jobs are coming our way and we're also seeing an increase in direct hires.

[caption id="attachment_77680" align="alignleft" width="300"] Napa County employment and job growth (click to enlarge)[/caption]

"The market has definitely turned and there's a lot of jobs out there, especially entry level," Ms. Hartman added.

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