Orange County Business Journal

Jobless Rate Up on Revised Data

Jane Yu Friday, March 22, 2013

Orange County’s unemployment rate ticked up in January, as an annual revision of data showed 28,000 fewer jobs compared with a month earlier.

OC was home to 1,398,600 jobs in January, according to the state Employment Development Department.

That’s about 2% more than a year earlier.

The local jobless rate rose to 7.1% in January on the revised data, up from 6.8% in December, and down from 8.1% a year prior.

OC’s trade, transportation and utilities sector reported the largest decline in January, with 6,600 fewer jobs from the prior month. More than 80% of the decrease came in retail trade, reflecting a seasonal cutback after the holiday shopping season.

The sector now has 247,400 jobs, about flat from a year ago, and makes up nearly 18% of the total OC work force.

Leisure and hospitality showed 5,700 fewer jobs in January. The sector counts 176,800 workers, up 2% from a year prior.

The professional and business services sector reported 5,200 fewer jobs. About 75% of the monthly decline came from administrative and support services. The sector remains the largest in OC, with 253,600 workers overall, reflecting a 4% year-over-year gain.

The total of government jobs fell by 3,900 in January. OC now has 146,100 government employees, a slight decrease from a year earlier.

Educational and health services saw jobs decline by about 1%, to 167,200. The sector remains among the biggest year-over-year gainers in OC, with a 4% growth since January 2012.

The financial activities sector also shrank by about 1%. It has 110,600 workers total, up by more than 5% from a year earlier.

The unemployment rate for California was 10.4% in January, up from December’s revised 9.8%, and down from 11.4% a year earlier.

Nationwide, the figure was 8.5% in January, up from 7.6% in December, and down from 8.8% a year earlier.