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Orange County lost about 51,000 jobs, mostly in the leisure and hospitality sector, as the unadjusted unemployment rate remained at 7.4% in January, same as a revised 7.4% in December, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the January unemployment rate was 2.9%.

This rate compares with California’s December unemployment rate of 9.2% and the U.S.’s 6.8%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. aren’t seasonally adjusted.

Orange County lost 51,000 jobs for a total of 1.47 million nonfarm employment.

The leisure and hospitality sector dropped 21,000 jobs, with half, 11,300, coming in accommodation and food services and another 9,700 in the arts, entertainment and recreation category.

Trade, transportation and utilities also fell 7,300, with 77% of the drop in retail trade. 

Nine of the eleven sectors lost jobs. The only one increasing employment was financial activities, up 100 jobs.

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The state job count fell 69,900 in January, for a total of 15.87 million jobs. In January of 2020, 17.62 million were employed.

California has now regained 39% of the 2.71 million jobs lost during the pandemic, the EDD said on its website.

Leisure and hospitality suffered the largest loss, 70,600, mostly in accommodation and food services.

Six of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in January. Trade, Transportation and Utilities gained the most, 13,700, followed by the government, 3,600.

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.