The unemployment rate across the North Bay crept slightly down in March, according to state figures released Friday.
Sonoma, Solano, Napa, Mendocino and Lake counties each saw a drop of one-10th of a percentage point, while Marin’s rate was remained unchanged, according to the California Employment Development Department. All counties remain well below jobless rates a year before.
Over 12 months, total employment in Sonoma County increased by 2,800.
Industry gains across the board include jobs in government, with Sonoma gaining 600, Solano gaining 500, and Napa gaining 400.
Most counties also saw growth in leisure and hospitality, with Marin leading the way with 1,100 jobs, and Solano gaining 600. Sonoma was the only county with no growth in that industry.
Solano also saw the most growth in education and health services industry, with 1,300 new jobs, followed closely by Sonoma with 1,100, and 700 in Marin.
Napa continues to gain ground in the state, rising from 10th place to ninth.
Industry losses for the year varied by county. Sonoma lost the most jobs in a single industry, manufacturing, by 1,500. Solano lost 400 in professional and business services, and Napa’s only loss was in mining, logging, and construction, with 400.
The Sonoma County unemployment rate in March inched downward for a second month, as the county gained 100 jobs from February and 2,800 from a year before, according to state figures released Friday.
The proportion of those looking for work was 3.6 percent last month, down from 3.7 percent in February and below the 4.3 percent rate the previous March, per the latest estimates by the California Employment Development Department.
The county’s record low jobless rate was 2.8 percent in December 2000, at the height of the dot-com and Telecom Valley tech boom in the county. Unemployment in March reached the lowest point since 3.8 percent in July 2001.
The county’s unadjusted unemployment rate was below both California’s 5.1 percent and the national rate of 4.9 percent. Among California’s 58 counties, Sonoma County ranked fifth for lowest unemployment, up from sixth place in February.
The number of nonfarm jobs grew 1.4 percent over 12 months to 201,100. County farm labor in the estimates totaled 5,900, up 200 from February but unchanged from a year before.
Industries leading the annual job growth were professional and business services, up 1,700, or 8.5 percent, to 21,800 total; educational and health services, up 1,100, or 3.3 percent, to 34,100; construction, up 700, or 6 percent, to 12,400; and government, up 600, or 1.8 percent, to 33,200.
County government also added 600 jobs, increasing that part of public-sector employment by 1.8 percent to 33,200 positions.
Despite these gains, job losses continue in manufacturing of both durable goods such as electronics and nondurable goods like wine and cheese. Since March 2016, Sonoma County lost 1,500 jobs in manufacturing, a decrease of 6.8 percent to 20,600 total.
The only other industry losing jobs for the year was financial activities, down 100, or 1.2 percent, to 8,300.
Employment in several sectors remained unchanged over 12 months, including leisure and hospitality; trade, transportation and utilities, which includes retail; and information.
The unemployment rate in Solano County was 5.2 percent last month, down from a revised 5.3 percent in February and 5.9 percent the previous March.
North Bay job picture
Unemployment rates for March 2017 and (March 2016). Annual nonfarm job growth numbers and percentage.
Unemployment: 3.6% (4.3%)
Job growth: 2,800, 1.4%
Unemployment: 5.2% (5.9%)
Job growth: 2,500, 1.9%
Unemployment: 3.0% (3.4%)
Job growth: 3,400, 3.0%
Unemployment: 4.1% (4.7%)
Job growth: 1,600, 2.3%
Unemployment: 5.4% (6.1%)
Job growth: 140, 0.5%
Unemployment: 6.5% (7.5%)
Job growth: 510, 3.4%
Source: California Employment Development Department
See previous reports on North Bay jobs data: nbbj.news/jobsdata