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OC Unemployment Rises to 4.2% in January

Orange County’s unemployment rate rose to 4.2% from a revised 3.7% in December and compares to 7.8% in January last year, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

The state’s unemployment rate was 5.5%. The January U.S. unemployment rate was 4.4%.

Nonfarm OC employment fell 29,100 jobs from December to January when 1.60 million were employed. OC employment is up 107,100 jobs from the same period a year ago.

Ten of the 11 industry sectors saw job declines, except for mining and logging.

“This is typical for this time of the year,” the EDD said in a statement,

Retail trade accounted for 73% of the 6,200 job decline in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

Another big drop was 6,200 in administrative services, which includes temporary-help firms.

About 17.2 million worked in California in January, an increase of 53,600 jobs from December and up 1.18 million jobs from a year earlier.

The state has now recovered 82% of the 2.76 million jobs lost in March and April of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Statewide, eight of 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by 26,600 in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, primarily within the general freight trucking industry subsector.

People receiving unemployment benefits rose 56,989 to 412,738 from 355,749.

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Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan
Peter J. Brennan has been a journalist for 40 years. He spent a decade in Latin America covering wars, narcotic traffickers, earthquakes, and business. His resume includes 15 years at Bloomberg News where his headlines and articles sometimes moved the market caps of companies he covered by hundreds of millions of dollars. His articles have been published worldwide, including the New York Times and the Washington Post; he's appeared on CNN, CBC, BBC, and Bloomberg TV. He was awarded a Kiplinger Fellowship at The Ohio State University.
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