Orange County gained 17,800 jobs with more than half in the leisure and hospitality sector, as the OC unemployment rate fell to 6.4% in March from a revised 6.7% in February, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the March unemployment rate was 3.3%.

Last month’s level compares with California’s unemployment rate of 8.2% and the U.S.’s 6.2%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. are not seasonally adjusted.

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Orange County had a total of 1.52 million non-farm employees as of last month. Between March 2020 and March 2021, total non-farm employment in OC decreased by 138,700 jobs, or 8.4%, as the world staggered under the effects of the pandemic.

Ten of the 11 OC sectors showed gains, including trade and transportation and professional and business services.

Construction was the only sector to lose employment over the month in OC, down 200 jobs, according to the EDD figures released today.