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Orange County gained 23,800 jobs in April, with most coming from the leisure and hospitality sector, as the unemployment rate fell to 6.2% from a revised 6.3% in March, according to the state Employment Development Department. A year ago, the April unemployment rate was 14.4%.
Last month’s level compares with California’s unemployment rate of 8.1% and the U.S.’s 5.7%. The most recent numbers for the county, state and U.S. are not seasonally adjusted.
Orange County had a total of 1.55 million non-farm employees as of last month. Between April 2020 and April 2021, total non-farm employment in OC increased 134,700 jobs, or 10%, as the world recovered from the effects of the pandemic.
Nine of the 11 OC sectors showed gains, most notably leisure and hospitality, which added 17,000 jobs.
Employment also increased in professional and business services, up 2,800, government, up 2,100, educational and health, up 1,200, and construction, up 700.

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Financial activities fell 1,400 jobs as did trade, transportation and utilities, off 1,000 jobs.
The state gained 101,800 jobs in April for a total of 16.25 million jobs. In April of 2020, 14.95 million were employed.
California has now regained 48% of the 2,714,800 nonfarm jobs lost in March and April of 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDD said on its website.
Seven of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in April, led by leisure and hospitality, up 62,800. Professional and business services had the second-largest month-over-month increase, 19,000.

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.