OC’s unadjusted unemployment rate was 3.7% in March, unchanged from a revised 3.7% in February and below the 4.2% reported in the same period last year, the state Employment Development Department said.
OC’s addition of 4,800 nonfarm jobs from February accounted for about a quarter of the entire state’s net nonfarm gain of 19,300 jobs. OC now has 1.59 million employees while the state has 16.7 million workers.
Statewide, California unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 4.9% from 5.0% in February. The rate was 5.6% in March 2016.
Leisure and hospitality posted the biggest OC gain, 2,700 jobs, mostly in food services and drinking places. Construction added 2,200 jobs, led by specialty trades.
The largest declines were in trade, transportation and utilities, with a loss of 600 jobs.
OC on a year-over-year basis in March added 23,300 nonfarm jobs, led by 8,100 jobs in professional services for a total of 300,100, and 5,000 in construction, which has 99,700. Manufacturing jobs was the largest decliner, falling 700 to 154,500.
On a year-over-year statewide basis, nine of 11 industry sectors added 355,300 jobs, led by education and health services, up 3.5%, and leisure and hospitality, up 2.7%. Manufacturing jobs declined 0.5%, or 6,500 jobs, while mining and logging dropped 9.4%, or 2,400 jobs.
Statewide, 420,505 people received unemployment benefits in March, up from 405,196 in February and 420,502 in the same period last year.
The U.S. earlier this month reported 4.5% unemployment in March compared with 4.7% in February.