The unemployment rate in Santa Barbara County was 6% in April 2021, down from a revised 6.6% in March 2021 and below the year-ago estimate of 14%.
Statewide, California’s unemployment rate remained at 8.3% in April, as the state’s employers gained 101,800 non-farm payroll jobs, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.
The statewide numbers come after March’s upwards-revised month-over gain of 132,400 jobs. Of the more than 2.7 million total nonfarm jobs lost in March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, California has now regained 1,302,100 jobs (48%), since May 2020.
Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate, which trended below 6% from December 2018 to February 2020, spiked to nearly 14% in April of 2020. The county’s unemployment rate has steadily dropped since.
Santa Barbara County has a labor force of 216,300, with 203,300 people employed and 12,900 unemployed.
Compared to other local counties, Ventura County had an unemployment rate of 6.2% for April, while San Luis Obispo County had an unemployment rate of 5.6%.
In total, Santa Barbara County gained an estimated 7,700 jobs from March to April. This includes an estimated gain of 4,700 farm jobs and 3,000 nonfarm jobs.
The county’s labor force increased by 1,900 (up 0.9%) from March. Month-over job losses were noted in the Transportation, Warehousing & Utilities sector (down 100 jobs, or 2.9%), as well as manufacturing (down 100, or 0.9%).
Clothing and Accessories Stores have experienced an increase of 128.6% over the past year (plus 900 jobs), while year-over increases were also noted in Food Services and Drinking Places (up 67.4%), Accommodation and Food Services (up 51.2%), Leisure and Hospitality (up 44.9%) and Professional and Business Services (up 24.8%).
The data released Friday by the EDD showed that the unemployment rate of 8.3% in April is nearly half of the 16% peak hit one year ago, but still 4% above the pre-pandemic level seen in February 2020. California’s April job gain accounts for 38% of the national gain of 266,000 jobs.
From February through April, California added 390,300 total non-farm payroll jobs, marking the state’s third consecutive month of gains of over 100,000 jobs.
Seven of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in April. Leisure & Hospitality (+62,800) continued to have the state’s largest month-over increase thanks in large part to Full-Service Restaurants. Professional and Business Services (+19,000) also posted a large gain thanks to strength in Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services, as did Other Services (+10,500) with an increase in Personal Care Services.
Leisure & Hospitality and Other Services, the hardest hit sectors during the pandemic, combined for nearly two-thirds of California’s job gains over the past three months, according to the data.
Information (-3,500) saw the largest month-over industry sector loss, largely due to a decrease in Software Publishers. Month-over losses were also noted in Financial Activities (-1,700), Construction (down 600) and mining and logging (-100).
Total nonfarm jobs in California’s 11 major industries totaled 16,248,200 in April, a net gain of 101,800 jobs from March 2021. This followed an upward revision of 12,800 jobs for a revised month-over gain of 132,400 jobs in March.
Total nonfarm jobs increased by more than 1.3 million (an 8.7% increase) from April 2020 to April 2021. This compared to the U.S. annual gain of 14,147,000 jobs (a 10.9% increase).
The number of Californians employed in April was 17,378,100, an increase of 36,800 jobs from March’s total of 17,341,300 and up 1,752,700 from the employment total in April of last year. The number of unemployed Californians was 1,576,100 in April, a decrease of 3,200 over the month and down 1,390,300 compared to April 2020, according to the data.
There were nearly 580,000 people certifying for unemployment insurance benefits during the April 2021 sample week. That compares to 680,279 people in March 2021 and 1,889,250 people in April 2020. Some 78,640 initial claims were processed in the April 2021 sample week, a decrease of more than 17,500 claims from March 2021 and a decrease of nearly 247,000 claims compared to April 2020.
Data for the month of May is scheduled for release on June 18, 2021. For more information on Santa Barbara County and state unemployment figures, visit www.edd.ca.gov.