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Sonoma County unemployment down slightly

NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL, NORTH BAY BUSINESS JOURNAL

The North Bay has added around 15,000 jobs in the past year, but job growth in the six-county region continues to hover around 2.5 percent as the number of people actively seeking jobs remains at very low levels, based on new state figures released Friday.

Sonoma County, with the largest population for the area, added the biggest share of the jobs — about 4,000 — followed by 3,700 in Marin, 3,100 in Solano, 2,400 in Napa and roughly 500 each in Mendocino and Lake counties, according to Employment Development Department figures for October. Industries leading the growth continue to be leisure and hospitality, educational and health services, and professional and business services.

While Sonoma, Mendocino and Lake counties experienced slight increases in joblessness, unemployment in Solano, Napa and Marin remained unchanged. The unemployment rate in Sonoma has been around 4 percent since September 2015 and has come in below 5 percent since March 2015. The rate in Marin has been at or below 4 percent since September 2014. In Napa, with the exception of November and December 2015, the rate has been below 5 percent since March 2015.

The October unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.3 percent for California and 4.7 percent for the nation.

The unemployment rate in Sonoma County was 3.9 percent last month, up from a revised 3.8 percent in September. The estimated rate the previous October was 4.2 percent. The county came in sixth for the lowest jobless rate in the state, preceded by Napa and Santa Clara in fourth place, San Francisco in third, Marin still in second and San Mateo at No. 1.

The number of Sonoma County nonfarm jobs was 203,800, up 2 percent. Farming employment for the month was down 600 for the year, off 9.1 percent.

Leading job-adding industries over the year were professional and business services, up 2,200, or 10.2 percent, to 23,700; retail-heavy trade, transportation and utilities, up 1,000, or 2.8 percent, to 36,800; and government, up 1,000, or 3.1 percent, to 33,400. Job-losing sectors over the year were leisure and hospitality, down 500, to 24,800, and educational and health services down 400, to 32,200.