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OC Unemployment Drops to 3.7% in February

Orange County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7% from a revised 4.2% in January and below the 7.4% in February last year, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.The state’s unemployment rate was 4.8%. The February U.S. unemployment rate was 4.1%. Nonfarm OC employment gained 17,500 jobs from January to February when 1.62 million were employed. OC employment is up 92,800 jobs from the same period a year ago.The county remains below the February 2020 pre-pandemic employment level of 1.68 million jobs. Some 77% of the 269,400 jobs lost during the pandemic have been recovered.

Seven of the 11 industry sectors saw job increases.

Leisure and hospitality added 5,300 jobs, with most of the increases in accommodation and food services, up 3,700.

Construction rose 5,200 jobs while professional and business services climbed 3,000.

Financial activities saw the biggest decline, 2,200 jobs.

About 17.3 million worked in California in February, an increase of 138,100 jobs from January and up 1.11 million jobs from a year earlier.The state has now recovered 88% of the 2.76 million jobs lost in March and April of 2020 due to the pandemic.Statewide, all 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by 30,400 in leisure and hospitality sector, followed by a 22,100 gain in construction.

People receiving unemployment benefits rose 12,483 to 425,221 from 412,738 in January.

Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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