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Orange County’s unadjusted unemployment rate rose to 7.4% in December, up from a revised 6.4% in November, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the December unemployment rate was 2.4%.

This rate compares with California’s December unemployment rate of 8.8% and the U.S.’s 6.5%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted.

Orange County lost 8,100 jobs for a total of 1.55 million nonfarm employment.

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The biggest decrease was the leisure and hospitality sector that lost 14,300 jobs, led by an 8,100 decline in accommodations and food services.

Trade, transportation and utilities was the biggest gainer, adding 4,200 jobs, led by 1,800 in wholesale trade and 1,500 in retail trade

The state lost 52,200 jobs in December, for a total of 16.14 million jobs. In December of 2019, 17.55 million were employed.

Nonetheless, California has now regained 44% of the 2,615,800 nonfarm jobs lost during March and April as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDD said on its website.

Six of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in December. Construction saw the biggest increase, 31,600, thanks to gains in specialty trade contractors and construction of buildings.

Professional and business services had the second largest month over month increase 29,600 due to large gains in accounting, tax preparation and bookkeeping.

Leisure and hospitality suffered the largest loss, 117,000, mostly in accommodation and food services.

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.