Orange County Business Journal

Unemployment Down in September

Jane Yu Friday, October 21, 2011

Orange County’s unemployment rate fell last month, as September showed a pickup in hiring.

The jobless rate fell to 8.6% from 9% in August and 9.5% a year earlier, according to the state Employment Development Department.

The county saw an increase of 5,700 jobs in September, with non-farm employment at 1.36 million. That reversed a drop of 4,600 jobs in August.

OC fared better compared with a year earlier, adding 13,400 jobs from September 2010, a gain of 1%.

Government swung back to adding jobs, reporting the largest gain for the month with 6,000 more positions, likely due to teachers returning to classrooms. Government posted the largest decline in August, with a cut of 2,900 jobs mainly due to summer recess in education.

Compared with a year earlier, government saw 1,600 fewer jobs.

Trade, transportation and utilities added 1,000 jobs here in September, continuing its hiring streak for the fifth-straight month.

The industry saw 800 more positions in September compared with a year earlier.

Professional and business services added 900 jobs from August. The monthly boost made up about a quarter of the year-over-year gain of 3,800 jobs.

Education and health services saw a monthly gain of 400 jobs. Over the year, it added 3,000 positions, with most of the gain in healthcare and social assistance.

Construction posted the largest monthly decline, dropping 2,200 jobs from August. The industry had 900 more jobs compared with a year earlier.

Financial activities cut 600 jobs from August. It saw a year-over-year decrease of 1,200 jobs.

Job numbers in leisure and hospitality remained flat from August but saw the biggest yearly gain, adding 8,300 jobs from September 2010. More than 70% of the addition was in accommodation and food services, which added 6,200 jobs.

The statewide unemployment rate for September was 11.4%, down from 11.9% in August. California was one of the 25 states that saw unemployment rates fall in September.

Joblessness fell to 8.8% nationally from 9.1% in August.