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The Orange County unadjusted unemployment rate fell to 5.0% in September, down from a revised 6.0% in August, and below the year-ago estimate of 9.6%, according to the California Employment Development Department.
That compares to an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.4% for California and 4.6% for the U.S. during the same period.
Total non-farm employment in OC rose by 8,400 jobs to 1.60 million in September.
Government reported the largest growth with an addition of 7,700 jobs, led by local government education as classes resumed following summer breaks.
Also increasing were manufacturing, up 1,500, professional and business services, up 1,400, and health services, up 1,300.
Trade, transportation and utilities decreased the most, losing 3,000, mostly in retail and wholesale trade.
The state added 47,400 non-farm jobs in September for a total of 16.7 million jobs. In September of 2020, 15.9 million were employed.
California has now regained 64% of the 2.7 million nonfarm jobs lost during March and April of 2020 as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the EDD said on its website.
Nine of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in September. Leisure and hospitality sector climbed the most, 23,300.

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There were 493,987 workers in California certifying for unemployment insurance benefits in September, down 144,989 from August. Concurrently, 78,878 new claims were processed in September, an increase of 15,325 from August.
Go here for more updates on how OC companies are responding to the coronavirus pandemic.