Orange County added 12,800 jobs in February to maintain a 4% unemployment rate, even with the recently revised rate for the month prior.
The local jobless rate, which is not seasonally adjusted, is down from 4.7% reported a year earlier, according to the state Employment Development Department.
There was a 2.8% increase year-over-year in local jobs to 1,561,100.
The number of government jobs increased by 5,200 to 162,200. Most of the growth was in local government education as educators returned after the winter holiday breaks. The number of government jobs is up 2.5% year-over-year.
Professional and business services firms added 5,000 jobs for a total of 288,600. About 86% of the new hires are in administrative and support services, which includes temporary help firms. The sector grew 2.7% in the past year.
Educational and health services jobs increased by 2,000 to 202,000. Colleges, universities and professional schools account for 80% of the new positions. The sector is up 2.9% year-over-year.
Trade, transportation and utilities shed 3,200 jobs, a 1.2% dip to finish February with 258,600 positions. Retailers accounted 90% of the cuts in the category as they trimmed staff after the holiday shopping season. The sector is down 1.2% for the past year.
California’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 5.7% in February, compared with 5.8% in January and 6.8% a year earlier.
The unadjusted rate for the U.S. was 5.2% in February, versus 5.3% in January and 5.8% a year earlier.
The more widely reported seasonally adjusted numbers indicate California’s jobless rate was 5.5% and the nationwide rate 4.9%.