Orange County Business Journal

Jobless Rate Rises to 5.8%

Mediha DiMartino Friday, March 7, 2014

Orange County’s economy lost 22,200 jobs in January, when the jobless rate rose to 5.8%.

That’s up from 5.3% the prior month, and down from 7.1% a year earlier.

The county’s workforce now totals 1,461,600, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector reported the largest decline in January with a loss of 9,700 jobs, for a total of 254,200 employed here. Retail trade, which now employs 146,800, lost 7,400 jobs, “a largely seasonal decline due to layoffs of temporary workers following the holiday shopping season,” according to the agency.

The wholesale trade segment lost 1,100 jobs, bringing its total down to 80,200 workers.

Government posted a loss of 3,700 jobs, primarily due to “seasonal cutbacks in local government education during the semester breaks.” The sector now has a total of 147,400 employees in the county.

Leisure and hospitality employment fell by 2,700 jobs to a total of 186,200 positions, “a typical seasonal decline following the holidays.”

Arts, entertainment and recreation now employ 41,100 after a loss of 1,400 jobs, while accommodation and food services declined by 1,300 jobs over the month to a total of 145,100 positions here.

California’s jobless rate was 8.5% in January, while the U.S. reported a 7% rate.