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Santa Barbara County Unemployment Rate at 5.7% for November

The unemployment rate for Santa Barbara County was 5.7 percent in November, as we approach the end-of-year holiday season, according to figures released Tuesday by the State Employment Development Department.

A year ago, in November 2013, unemployment for the county was at 6.4 percent.

Between November 2013 and November 2014, total labor force in Santa Barbara County grew from 223,200 to 228,200 or 5,000 workers. The year-to-year change in the labor force in October was 4,600 workers.

“As expected, the sector that produced the most jobs was retail; which is consistent with the holiday season, and are probably temporary jobs,” said Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Raymond McDonald.

“There were unexpected gains in local government jobs (300), while the Professional & Business Services sector was flat — as employers delayed permanent hiring during the holidays, and routinely make up for this lull during the first few months of the new year.”

Looking to the sub-county areas in Tuesday's release, there are some unfortunate changes from the previous month, with Lompoc and Guadalupe slipping back into double-digit unemployment.

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