California’s unemployment rate dropped nearly one percentage point to 8.2% in November, as the state’s employers added 57,000 jobs, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.
Locally, the unemployment rate in Santa Barbara County was 5.8% for November, down from a revised 6.1% in October. The November 2020 unemployment rate was above the November 2019 rate of 3.2%. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.9% for California and 6.4% for the nation during the same period, according to the EDD Labor Market Information Division.
Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate, which trended below 6% from December 2018 to February 2020, spiked to nearly 14% in April of 2020 and has been steadily declining over the past seven months, according to the data.
Santa Barbara County has a labor force of 213,600, with 201,300 people employed and 12,300 unemployed.
Compared to other local counties, Ventura County has an unemployment rate of 6.3% for November, while San Luis Obispo County has an unemployment rate of 5.4%.
In total, Santa Barbara County added 1,200 nonfarm jobs from October to November, though the county lost an estimated 1,800 farming jobs and was down 600 jobs across all industries over the past month. The county’s trade, transportation and utilities sector added 500 jobs from October to November, as well as 400 government jobs, 400 leisure and hospitality jobs, 300 educational and health services jobs and 100 professional and business services jobs.
Month-over job losses were noted in the following sectors: manufacturing (down 400 jobs); construction (down 100) and mining, logging and construction (down 100).
In terms of year-over job losses, preliminary data for November 2020 indicates a 13,600 job decrease for all industries compared to November 2019, though an increase of 300 total farm jobs. The largest year-over decreases for Santa Barbara County include: leisure and hospitality (down 4,600 jobs from November 2019); trade, transportation and utilities (down 2,600 jobs); government (down 2,400 jobs); educational and health services (down 1,300); other services (down 1,000); manufacturing (down 900); professional and business services (down 700); information (down 500); and financial activities (down 700).
The data is not adjusted for seasonality.
Broken down further, accommodation jobs were down nearly 34% from a year ago, state government jobs are down 24.2% over the past year, and arts, entertainment and recreation jobs are down 23.7% since November 2019. In addition, jobs for clothing and clothing accessories stores were down 20% compared to last year.
The data released Friday by the EDD was based on two surveys. The numbers come after October’s revised gain of 145,600 jobs, and the state has now regained approximately 46% of the more than 2.6 million nonfarm jobs that were lost due to the COVID-19 pandemic in March and April.
The 8.2% unemployment rate marks the lowest level it has been since 5.5% in March. November also marks the sixth straight month the unemployment rate fell below the all-time unemployment rate high of 16.4% in April and May of this year, according to officials.
Nine of the state’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs last month. For the third consecutive month, leisure and hospitality posted the largest job sector gain, with an increase of 27,800 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities posted an increase of 19,700 jobs, professional and business services posted an increase of 12,9000, and education and health services had an increase of 8,500.
Other sectors that experienced increases included: financial activities (up 2,300 jobs); information (up 900); manufacturing (up 600); other services (up 300); and mining and logging (up 100).
Sectors that experienced decreases included construction (down 5,800 jobs) and government (down 10,200). November marked the third straight month the government sector posted the largest industry job loss. Officials attribute the decrease to the “sizeable losses in Federal Government employment.”
Following a survey of approximately 80,000 businesses, total nonfarm jobs in 11 of the state’s major industries totaled 16,191,400 in November, a net gain of 57,000 jobs from October. This followed an upward-revision of 100 jobs for revised gain of 145,600 jobs in October.
Total nonfarm jobs decreased by 1,336,700 (down 7.6%) from November 2019 to 2020 compared to the U.S. annual loss of 9,185,000 jobs (a 6.1% decrease), officials said.
The number of unemployed Californians was 1,542,100 in November, a decrease of 186,000 over the month, and up by 788,400 in comparison to November of last year, according to the data.
More than 1.2 million people certified for unemployment insurance benefits during the November sample week. This compares to more than 1.6 million people in October 2020 and more than 293,000 people in November 2019. Nearly 169,000 initial claims were processed during the November sample week, which was a month-over increase of 16,347 claims from October 2020, and a year-over increase of 119,552 claims in November 2019.
Data for December will be released on Jan. 22. For more information on Santa Barbara County and state unemployment figures, visit www.edd.ca.gov.