Share this article:

Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 12.3% in July from a revised 13.6% in June, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the unemployment rate was 3.1%.

This compares with California’s June unemployment rate of 13.7% and the U.S.’s 10.5%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted.

Despite the lower unemployment rate, Orange County actually lost 17,700 jobs for a total of 1.46 million nonfarm employment. The two data points are not comparable because the unemployment rate counts people who live in Orange County while the industry employment numbers count the number of jobs in Orange County regardless of where those people live.

The biggest decrease was government, which shed 18,300, mostly in local government category. Another big decline was 7,000 in leisure and hospitality, which was most affected by the category of arts, entertainment and recreation.

Get the latest OC business updates for FREE

The largest payroll increase, 6,100, occurred in professional and business services.

The state added 140,400 non-farm jobs in July.

“California has now regained nearly a third (31.1%) of the 2,625,500 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic,” the EDD said in a statement.

About 16.3 million are now employed in non-farm jobs in California. In July of 2019, 18.6 million were employed.

Nine of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in July as the industries most affected by the coronavirus tended to have the most gains.

Trade, transportation and utilities rose the most, 40,900 jobs while the government sector climbed 36,000 jobs, thanks mostly to the state government category.

There were 3.1 million workers certifying for unemployment insurance benefits in July, up 365,327 from June. Concurrently, 244,506 initial claims were processed in July, a decrease of 39,794 from May.

Go here for more updates on how OC companies are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.

For ongoing, in-depth coverage of COVID-19’s effects on OC businesses, see the Monday print edition of the Business Journal.