Orange County’s unemployment rate fell to 2.4% in May from a revised 2.7% in April and below the 6.2% rate seen in May last year, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.
The state’s unemployment rate was 3.4% in April while the U.S.’s was 3.4%.
Nonfarm OC employment gained 9,700 jobs from April to May when 1.65 million were employed.
The county remains below the February 2020 pre-pandemic employment level of 1.68 million jobs. The OC economy has added 76,100 jobs since May 2021.
Nine of the 11 industry sectors saw job increases.
For the fourth straight month, leading the job increase was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 2,200 jobs.
Trade, transportation and utilities added another 2,100 jobs and construction was up 2,000 jobs.
The only sector to contract was professional and business services, down 400 jobs.
About 17.5 million worked in California in April, an increase of 42,900 nonfarm payroll jobs from April and up about 869,300 jobs from a year earlier.
The state has now recovered 93% of the 2.76 million jobs lost in March and April of 2020 due to the pandemic.
Eight of the 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by information, with 8,800, particularly in the movie industry. Leisure and hospitality also added 8,800 jobs.
The largest reduction was in trade, transportation and utilities, which fell 3,700, mostly because of declines in general merchandise stores.
People receiving unemployment benefits fell by 15,331 to 330,412, down from 345,743 in April.