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Local News

Santa Barbara County Jobless Rate Second-Lowest in State

Santa Barbara and Goleta are among the county's cities with the lowest unemployment

Santa Barbara County lost about 700 additional jobs from June to July, raising its estimated unemployment rate to 9.2 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department.

Despite that increase, Santa Barbara County has the second-lowest jobless rates among California’s 58 counties, with Marin County coming in last at 8.6 percent, according to Raymond McDonald, executive director of the Workforce Investment Board.

About 20,600 people are unemployed in Santa Barbara County, according to the state EDD report. The 9.2 percent rate for July is up about 0.5 percent from the revised 8.7 percent rate in June.

California’s statewide average unemployment rate is 12.8 percent, and the national average is 9.7 percent, according to the EDD.

“We continue to see the affects of a very sluggish economy that is struggling through one of the worst recessions ever faced by our country,” McDonald said in a news release. “Our unemployment numbers might be among the lowest in California, but we still have thousands of people unemployed who need help and need it now. The Workforce Investment Board recognizes the need and is working with the public, private, nonprofit and academic sectors to help get people back to work.”

The highest unemployment rates for Santa Barbara County cities were Lompoc at 16 percent, Guadalupe at 15.5 percent and Santa Maria at 14.2 percent. County cities with the lowest unemployment rates were Solvang at 3.5 percent; Carpinteria and Goleta, both at 4.6 percent; and Santa Barbara at 6.5 percent.

Job seekers and employers can take advantage of free services at two Workforce Resource Centers (“One-Stops”) — 130 E. Ortega St. in Santa Barbara and 1410 S. Broadway in Santa Maria — to help find work or new employees. Click here for more information.

Noozhawk managing editor Michelle Nelson can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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