Unemployment rate in county drops to 4.5% | SierraSun.com

Unemployment rate in county drops to 4.5%

Doug Mattson, Sun news service

California’s unemployment rate remained flat in June, as Nevada County’s dropped for the fifth straight month, according to state figures released Friday.

The state’s 6.7 percent unemployment rate went unchanged from a revised 6.7 percent rate in May. In Nevada County, the jobless rate dipped from a revised May figure of 4.7 percent to 4.5 percent last month. The county rate as been steadily dropping since January, when it was 5.1 percent.

Other job and unemployment data hint at a positive trend in the number of people employed, state officials reported. In Nevada County, the new-jobless rate continued a five-month decline from a 5.1 percent high in January.

But one official refused to read too much into the numbers and leaned more on his conversation with local business owners.

“It’s a combination of things,” said Larry Burkhardt, president and CEO of the county Economic Resource Council. “Some are doing quite well, some are hurting, some are trying to make it month to month – so a static number like this really doesn’t tell me much.”

Regionally, Nevada County compared well with other counties, with the sixth-lowest unemployment rate. Placer County had the 10th lowest, Sacramento County the 17th lowest and Yuba County the 53rd lowest, according to Mary Mahoney, a state labor market consultant.

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Meanwhile, the county added 510 jobs, with 190 of them in the entertainment and recreation field, which includes golf course, lifeguard and boat rental work.

One hundred business/professional jobs were created, and 80 construction jobs were added.

Data culled from separate surveys of employers and households show the state’s payroll employment rose by 5,100 jobs and the number of people who had jobs last month increased by 58,000, for a total of 16,453,000, the state Economic Development Department said.

The number of people without a job in June declined by 6,000 from May, but was up 14,000 when compared to June 2002.

Over the 12 months ending in June, California had a net loss of 51,300 jobs, or about less than half a percent, the state said.

The manufacturing sector continued to lead all other industries in job losses during that time period with 66,300. Trade, transportation and utilities, information and business services, and government, were among those industries with the biggest job losses, the state said.

Most new jobs were generated in construction, financial activities, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality.

The Associated Press contributed to this story