Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 9.9% in August, down from a revised 12.4% in July, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the August unemployment rate was 3.0%.
This rate compares with California’s August unemployment rate of 11.6% and the U.S.’s 8.5%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted.
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 final quarter of the year.
Orange County gained 3,700 jobs for a total of 1.48 million nonfarm employment.
The biggest increase was the government sector, which added 3,100 jobs, led by the federal category. Construction grew by 2,700 payroll jobs with 81% of the increase in specialty trade contractors.
The biggest decline was 3,500 jobs in leisure and hospitality.
The state added 101,900 non-farm jobs in August for a total of 15.9 million jobs. In August of 2019, 17.5 million were employed.
California has now regained more than a third, 34%, of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April asa direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDD said in a statement.
Six of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in August.
Government rose the most, 66,100, followed by trade, transportation and utilities, 26,000, and professional and business services, 19,400. Leisure and hospitality fell the most, 14,600 jobs.
There were 2.8 million workers certifying for unemployment insurance benefits in August, down 306,889 from July. Concurrently, 196,855 initial claims were processed in August, a decrease of 47,651 from July.
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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.