Orange County Business Journal

Jobs Down, Unemployment Rate Flat at 7.9% for July

Jane Yu Friday, August 17, 2012

Orange County lost 12,700 jobs in July. The unemployment rate stayed flat at 7.9% from a month earlier, indicating the pool of job seekers here has slimmed.

OC’s unemployment rate a year earlier was 9.2%.

The county had 1,388,900 jobs at the end of last month, according to the state Employment Development Department.

The largest decliner was government, which cut 13,200 jobs in July. About 88% of the drop was in local government education, mainly due to seasonal cutbacks for the summer. The sector had lost 2,400 jobs in June. The continued declines have pushed the number of government employees below the year-earlier total by 2,100.

Professional and business services reported a loss of 1,400 jobs. It’s still the largest gainer year-over-year, with 8,200 more jobs.

Construction lost 500 jobs in July, after adding 3,400 in June. It’s down 3,800 jobs compared with a year ago.

Leisure and hospitality had the largest increase over the month, gaining 900 jobs for a total of 184,800. Hiring was relatively active in amusement and recreation, which helped offset job losses in food services. The sector now has 8,900 more jobs than a year ago.

The financial activities sector posted an increase of 700 jobs. It has 106,500 workers here, up 2% from a year earlier.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector hired 500 employees in July, riding the momentum from June, when the sector gained 700 jobs. It has a total of 252,000 jobs now, up nearly 3% from a year ago.

Job numbers stayed flat in July for education and health services, which has 160,300 jobs here, up 2% from a year ago. The information sector also saw its number stay level. It has 500 more workers than last year, for a total of 24,200.

The statewide unemployment rate was 10.9%, up slightly from 10.7% in June. It’s down from 12.3% a year ago.

The nationwide rate was 8.6% for July, up from 8.4% from June, and down from 9.3% last year.