Unemployment rates for North Bay counties dipped in May, reaching decades-long lows in some, according to state figures released June 16.
The rate in Sonoma County last month of 3.0 percent reached a 17-year low. That’s the lowest since 2.8 percent in December 2000 and nearing the 2.3 percent all-time low for the county in May and December 1999.
Mendocino County reached 27-year low unemployment in May.
“Looking back to 1990 in the historical labor force and employment data, I can find no time in that period in which (Mendocino County) experienced an unemployment rate as low as this month’s rate,” said Randy Weaver, North Coast Labor Market consultant with the Employment Development Department.
Mendocino unemployment was 3.8 percent in May. The previous low point since 1990 was 4.1 percent in October 2006.
Weaver stressed that the May figures are preliminary and are adjusted with late reporting. Revisions are reported the following month.
All six North Bay counties remain well below joblessness figures from May 2016. Sonoma County’s rate at that time was 3.5 percent. Lake County’s was a full percentage point higher 12 months before, 5.6 percent.
By comparison, the unadjusted unemployment rate last month for California was 4.2 percent and 4.1 percent for the nation.
Solano and Sonoma counties had big gains over the year in the educational and health services industry, both up 1,200 jobs.
Government also continued to gain jobs across all local counties. Sonoma led, with 1,000 more jobs.
North Bay industries with losses over past 12 months include 500 Solano professional and business services jobs and 400 Marin leisure and hospitality positions.
Despite losing 1,900 manufacturing jobs in Sonoma, the county is still at the national average of having about 10 percent of industry jobs in goods production, Stone said.
Sonoma tied with San Luis Obispo for the county with the fifth-lowest jobless rate among the state’s 58 counties, preceded by Santa Clara, San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties.
The number of Sonoma County nonfarm jobs was up 2,600, or 1.3 percent, for the year, to 204,900. Farming employment was up 200 for the year, or 3 percent, to 6,800.
Leading job-adding industries over the year were educational and health services, up 1,200, or 3.6 percent, to 34,300; professional and business services, up 1,000, or 4.8 percent, to 21,800; government, up 1,000, or 3 percent, to 33,800; and construction, up 700, or 5.7 percent, at 13,000.
Job-losing sectors over the year were manufacturing, which includes production of wine and beer, down 1,900, to 20,400; and financial activities, down 200, to 8,300. The county’s production of durable goods such as electronics lost 600 jobs over 12 months, while nondurable manufacturing such as food and beverages shed 1,300.
The unemployment rate in Solano County was 4.3 percent in May, down from a revised 4.7 percent in April and 4.9 percent a year before. Even with such low unemployment, Solano ranked 22nd statewide.
Nonfarm jobs for the month were estimated to total 137,700, up 1,800 positions, or 1.3 percent, over 12 months. Farming jobs were unchanged for the year, at 1,900.
Job-gaining industries over 12 months were educational and health services, up 1,200, or 4.7 percent, to 26,700; leisure and hospitality, up 600, or 4 percent, to 15,700; and government, up 400, or 1.6 percent, to 26,100.
North Bay jobs by the numbers
- Unemployment: 3.0% ↓
- Job growth: 2,600, 1.3%
- Unemployment: 4.3% ↓
- Job growth: 1,800, 1.3%
- Unemployment: 2.6% ↓
- Job growth: 900, 0.8%
- Unemployment: 3.1% ↓
- Job growth: 1,600, 2.3%
- Unemployment: 3.8% ↓
- Job growth: 490, 1.5%
- Unemployment: 4.9% ↓
- Job growth: 610, 3.9%
Source: California Employment Development Department. Notes: Unemployment-rate change is relative to the previous month. Job growth is over 12 months for nonfarm positions.
See North Bay jobs reports for previous months: nbbj.news/jobsdata