Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 7.5% in October, down from a revised 8.9% in September, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the October unemployment rate was 2.6%.
This rate compares with California’s October unemployment rate of 9% and the U.S.’s 6.6%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted.
Orange County gained 34,100 jobs for a total of 1.54 million nonfarm employment.
Chapman University in June predicted OC jobs should rise back up to almost 1.6 million by the end of the year, translating into a jobless rate around 6.7% in the current quarter.
The biggest increase was the leisure and hospitality sector that added 10,100 jobs. The category of food services and drinking places led the gains, up 5,500 jobs. Arts, entertainment and recreation expanded by 4,200 jobs.
Professional and business services added 7,500 jobs, led by a 4,500 increase in professional, scientific and technical services.
Eight other sectors also rose, including construction, up 4,800 jobs, and government, up 4,100 jobs.
The state added 145,500 jobs in October, for a total of 16.13 million jobs. In October of 2019, 17.5 million were employed.
California has now regained 44% of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDD said in a statement.
Ten of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in September; the only exception was mining and logging, which declined 200 jobs.
Leisure and hospitality rose the most, 66,000 jobs. Professional and business services added 35,800 jobs, followed by construction with 26,300 jobs.
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For ongoing, in-depth coverage of COVID-19’s effects on OC businesses, see the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.