Orange County Business Journal

Jobs and Jobless Rate Both Fall in November

Jane Yu Friday, December 16, 2011

Orange County saw a dip in employment as most sectors cut jobs in November.

The unemployment rate also declined, an indication that the pool of individuals looking for work shrank last month.

Orange County trimmed 2,500 jobs in November. The loss came after two straight months of gains that totaled 20,000 additional jobs.

The county now counts about 1.38 million jobs.

The jobless rate fell to 8.1% from October’s 8.5% and 9.4% a year earlier, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Construction accounted for most of the job loss in November, when the sector cut 2,300 jobs from the prior month to 65,800. That’s down 1,100 from a year earlier.

About 90% of the decline in construction came from specialty trade contractors, which saw 2,000 fewer jobs.

Professional and business services posted the next largest monthly decline, cutting 1,200 jobs in November. The sector has been adding jobs for the past few months, with additions of 900 in September and 3,100 in October.

November’s loss primarily came from administrative and support services—which cut 1,800 jobs—and was partially offset by modest increases in other areas, such as professional, scientific and technical services.

The sector saw 6,200 more jobs in November than a year earlier.

Financial activities cut 1,000 jobs last month, reversing an increase of 1,400 in October. The sector saw 1,200 fewer jobs in November compared with a year ago.

Education and health services clipped 600 jobs after adding 2,000 in October.

The sector posted 2,900 more jobs compared with November of last year, about a 2% gain.

Trade, transportation and utilities reported the largest increase in employment, adding 4,400 jobs in November. The sector now counts about 251,200 jobs, about 1% more than the same time last year.

Two other sectors that gained jobs in November were information and government, each adding 100.

Information saw 300 fewer jobs compared with a year earlier. Government’s job count was down 1,600 from November 2010.

Statewide unemployment for November was 10.9%, down from 11.2% in October.

Unemployment declined to 8.2% from 8.5% in October