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Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate climbed to 3.2% in March from a revised 3.0% in February, and above the year-ago estimate of 3.0%, according to the state Employment Development Department.
California’s unemployment rate was 4.6%, and the U.S.’s was 3.9%. The most recent March numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted. Orange County's lowest-ever unemployment rate was 2.2% in December 1999.
OC nonfarm employment increased by 5,400 jobs to 1.66 million. Seven of the 11 sectors reported increases in March while the remaining four sectors were flat.
The biggest notable increase was construction, which climbed 1,200 jobs after several prior months of shedding jobs.
Manufacturing and leisure and hospitality posted the largest employment increases with each sector adding 1,400 jobs.
About 17.4 million people were working in California outside of agriculture in February, up about 24,500 from January and 238,500 from a year earlier.
Statewide, nine of 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by construction, which was up 9,400 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities reported the biggest decline, losing 5,800 jobs.
People receiving unemployment benefits fell to 387,767 from 389,449 in February. A year earlier, the number was 403,184.