North Bay counties have strong job growth in January

[caption id="attachment_88915" align="alignnone" width="500"] The pace of North Bay annual job growth seemed to have plateaued since late 2012, stabilizing around 4 percent. (click to enlarge)[/caption]

While jobless rates increased in North Bay in January because of seasonal job shifts, the region had net gains of at least 16,800 jobs in January from a year before, according to state figures released March 7.

The unadjusted unemployment rate for California was 8.5 percent and for the U.S., 7.0 percent, according to estimates from the California Employment Development Department.Sonoma County

The unemployment rate in Sonoma County was 6.2 percent in January, down two percentage points from a year before but up from a revised 5.7 percent in December.

Annual industry job growth was 4.5 percent, or 8,100 positions. Total industry employment was 188,900.

Growth industries were government, up 15.4 percent, or 4,300 jobs; professional and business services, up 5.6 percent, or 1,000 jobs; trade, transportation and utilities, which is heavily affected by retail and wholesale companies, up 2.9 percent, or 1,000 jobs; leisure and hospitality, up 2.8 percent, or 600 jobs; manufacturing, up 3.1 percent, or 600 positions; and construction, up 2.2 percent, or 200 jobs.

The 4,300-job annual gain in government employment was led by special government districts -- that includes native tribes -- education, and the county and municipalities. Special districts included a net gain of 2,000 jobs. That is largely attributed to the opening of Graton Casino & Resort in Rohnert Park in November.

In education, there was a net gain of 1,600 employed by local government and 400 by the state, up 11.5 percent and 19.0 percent, respectively. Other local government gains were 300 more county positions and 100 more at municipalities, up 7.0 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

Growth in manufacturing employment was all in nondurable goods, which includes wine, beer and food, up 5.7 percent, or 600 jobs, over 12 months.

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