Sonoma, Napa unemployment up slightly in October


North Bay unemployment rose slightly in Sonoma and Napa counties in October, likely due in part to job losses attributed to the October wildfires, but fell in Marin, Mendocino, Solano, and Lake Counties, according to new state figures released Friday.

Sonoma saw a larger than normal loss of jobs over the month, compared to rates over the last 10 year for the same time period in manufacturing, leisure and hospitality and financial activities, according to Jorge Villalobos, North Bay labor market consultant for the California Employment Development Department, which put out the numbers.

Historically, financial activities has remained unchanged from September to October, but this year lost 400 jobs. Leisure and hospitality doubled loses with 400 jobs, and manufacturing, which typically loses 200, lost 500.

Still, over the year, total jobs in all industries was down only by 100.

Napa saw a small drop in manufacturing and educational and health services jobs, at 100 each, and 400 in professional and business services.

For the year, Napa is up 2,000 jobs over October 2016.

In Sonoma County, the unemployment rate rose slightly to 3.3 percent in October, up from 3.2 percent in September. The county ranked sixth-lowest in joblessness in the state.

The unemployment rate in Napa County was 3.4 percent in October, up from 3.2 percent in September, and ranked eighth lowest in the state.

Unemployment in Marin, which ranked second-lowest in the state, fell to 2.6 percent in October, down from 2.9 percent in September. San Mateo County had the lowest rate, at 2.5 percent.

Mendocino County ranked No. 17 and dropped from 4.0 percent in September to 3.9 percent in October.

Solano County ranked No. 21 with 4.3 percent unemployment in October, down from 4.6 percent in September.

Lake County was in the 40th spot, with a drop from 5.4 percent in September to 5.3 percent unemployment in October.

For perspective, the bottom three counties last month were Colusa, 8.6 percent; Tulare, 9.4 percent; and Imperial, 20.9 percent unemployment.

The state’s total labor force dropped to 19.3 million, with 18.5 million people employed, at 4.3 percent, according to the Employment Development Department.

Nationally, unemployment in October was 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 percent in September.

Cynthia Sweeney covers health care, hospitality, residential real estate, education, employment and business insurance. Reach her at or call 707-521-4259.