Thursday, April 26 , 2018, 3:01 pm | A Few Clouds 60º

 
 
 
 

Business

Monthly Jobless Rate Unchanged in Santa Barbara County, But Down from a Year Ago

County's number of employed ranks seventh statewide, which one industry professional says is 'a good sign' but lower than usual

Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate improved in February by nearly 1 percent from a year ago, according to statewide data released Friday.

The county remained at an unadjusted 8.9 percent unemployment rate from January to February, but the figure is down from February 2011’s 9.7 percent rate, according to the state Employment Development Department. Local unemployment rates mirror statewide and national trends. California’s rate remained at 11.4 percent rate, as did the national rate of 8.7 percent.

“The job recovery process is working throughout the nation and within the county as we see pockets of growth and optimism in the labor market,” Raymond McDonald, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board, said in a news release.

“This optimism is supported by the increase in job advertising throughout the county for workforce members in key sectors that drive the local economy.”

Santa Barbara County has the seventh-lowest unemployment rate out of California’s 58 counties. Although the employed population has increased, the county usually ranks better than seventh, said Karen Dwyer, owner of Express Employment Professionals.

“When the economy turned, we saw the overall population dwindle as people lost jobs and left town,” she said. “But now we’re seeing employment come back. That’s a good sign, but one thing to note is that we did drop in terms of rankings in counties in California. (Santa Barbara) has typically been three or four.”

From this time last year, there has been an upward employment swing in farming, to 14,900 workers from 12,800; professional and business services, to 25,500 from 23,700; and government, to 39,700 from 38,700. There has been an employed workforce decrease in construction, to 6,400 from 6,600; trade, transportation and utilities, to 23,600 from 24,000; and leisure and hospitality, to 20,900 from 21,400.

But overall, Dwyer said, local jobs are gradually coming back.

“I expect the economy to continue to grow at a slow pace, but all numbers are indicating that it’s growing,” she said.

While the city of Santa Barbara claims a 6.3 percent unemployment rate, other regions within the county are not faring as well. Lompoc has a 15.5 percent unemployment rate, Guadalupe is at 15.1 percent, Santa Maria is at 13.8 percent and Orcutt is at 9.9 percent.

Noozhawk business writer Alex Kacik can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.


Maestro, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, Debit

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >

Meet Your Realtor Sponsored by Village Properties

Photo of Cimme Eordanidis
Cimme Eordanidis
"Since I truly enjoy doing what I do, interacting with people and representing them during one of life's most exciting events is very rewarding."

Full Profile >