Orange County’s unemployment rate fell to 2.8% in July from a revised 2.9% in June and below the 6.4% rate seen in July last year, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.
The state’s unemployment rate was 3.9% in July while the U.S.’s was 3.8%.
Nonfarm OC employment gained 5,600 jobs from June to July when 1.66 million were employed.
The county remains below the February 2020 pre-pandemic employment level of 1.68 million jobs. The OC economy added 73,400 jobs since July 2021.
Eight of the 11 industry sectors saw job increases.
For the sixth straight month, leading the job increase was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 6,500 jobs, with the gains centered around arts, entertainment and recreation. Food services and drinking places were also up 2,500 jobs.
Professional and business services were up 4,100 jobs while construction added 3,600 and manufacturing 2,900.
Government shed 15,800 jobs.
About 17.6 million worked in California in July, an increase of 84,800 nonfarm payroll jobs from June and up about 740,000 jobs from a year earlier.
The state has now recovered 97% of the 2.76 million jobs lost in March and April of 2020 due to the pandemic.
Ten of the 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by professional and business services and educational and health services, which each added 20,500 jobs.
Financial activities was the only sector to post job loss, down 1,900, mainly to reductions in insurance carriers.
People receiving unemployment benefits rose by 19,693 to 316,263, up from 296,570 in June.