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Orange County Employment Surpasses Pre-Covid Level

Broad gains reported across industries

Orange County has surpassed the pre-pandemic employment level for the first time since COVID-19 struck as the employee count rose broadly in October.

About 1.69 million were employed in October, above the February 2020 pre-pandemic employment level of 1.68 million jobs, the state’s Employment Development Department reported today.

The state of California has also regained all the jobs lost, reporting a 2.79 million increase in jobs since March and April of 2020, surpassing the 2.76 million jobs lost.

Nonfarm OC employment climbed 22,800 jobs from September, the EDD said.

The jump was broad as 9 of 11 sectors reported increases, led by the government sector with 5,600 new jobs, specifically in education services. Another 5,000 jobs were added in the professional and business services, mostly in professional, scientific and technical services categories.

Other sectors seeing large increases include educational and health services, up 4,500; trade, transportation and utilities, up 4,100; leisure and hospitality, up 2,100; and construction, up 2,000.

However, Orange County’s unemployment rate rose to 2.8% in October from a revised 2.7% in September and below the 4.7% rate seen in October last year. The unemployment rate can rise even though the number of jobs increase because of different methodologies in collecting the data, EDD has previously said.

The OC economy added 77,600 jobs since October 2021.

The state’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in October while the U.S.’s was 3.4%.

About 17.7 million worked in California in October, an increase of 56,700 nonfarm payroll jobs from September and up about 695,500 jobs from a year earlier.

Eight of the state’s 11 industry sectors saw job increases, led by a 16,800 rise in education and health services.

People receiving unemployment benefits fell 4,369 to 289,716, down from 294,085 in September.

 

 

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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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