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Slight rise in county unemployment rate

Sonoma County's unemployment rate in June rose by a small percentage for the first time in six months, as employers in government and educational and health services shed jobs.

June's unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, up from 6.1 percent in May and 6.5 percent in April, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Unemployment had been declining since January. There were 17,400 unemployed job-seekers in June, the first increase in six months.

Linda Wong, North Bay labor market consultant for the EDD, said the higher unemployment numbers likely reflect seasonal conditions in the job market, including the number of students who are out of school looking for summer work.

"It's a fairly typical change at this time of year," she said.

Over the past year, the economy has created 4,400jobs. But annual job growth slowed for the third consecutive month.

Local employers shed 900 jobs between May and June, ending a five-month string of monthly job gains.

Government shed 1,400 jobs from May to June, and educational and health services lost 200.

There were 900 fewer jobs overall in Sonoma County over the same period.

Still, the county maintained its 8th-place ranking for California counties with the lowest unemployment rates.


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