Friday, 12 April 2024

Lake County unemployment reaches 18.5 percent; state numbers remain steady

LAKE COUNTY – While California's unemployment rate remained unchanged in December, Lake County's rate pushed higher, hitting 18.5 percent, state officials reported Friday.

The California Employment Development Department's latest report on unemployment noted that the state's overall rate in December was 12.4 percent, the same as for November, but up from the 8.7 percent unemployment seen in the state in December 2008.

The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the nationwide unemployment rate for December was 10 percent, also remaining unchanged from November. The December 2008 national unemployment rate was 7.4 percent.

The lowest unemployment among the state's 58 counties was reported in Marin, which had a 7.8 percent unemployment rate. The highest rate, 27.7 percent, was reported in Imperial County.

In Lake County in December, approximately 4,570 people out of the 24,710-member labor force were unemployed, an increase of 180 people over November, according to the report's statistics.

Within the county itself, the following unemployment rates were reported: Clearlake Oaks, 26.8 percent; Nice, 25.6 percent; city of Clearlake, 25.2 percent; Middletown, 22.5 percent; Lucerne, 19.3 percent; Kelseyville, 18.1 percent; city of Lakeport, 16.7 percent; north Lakeport, 16.3 percent; Cobb, 15.3 percent; Hidden Valley Lake, 15 percent; Lower Lake, 14.8 percent; Upper Lake, 7.6 percent.

Lake's neighboring counties registered the following unemployment rates: Colusa, 25.9 percent; Glenn, 15.9 percent; Mendocino, 11.5 percent; Napa, 10.2 percent; Sonoma, 10.1 percent; and Yolo, 13.7 percent.

The state's unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households. A survey of 42,000 California businesses that measures jobs in the economy – which the Employment Development Department noted is less statistically variable than the federal survey – found that California's nonfarm jobs totaled 14,148,000 in December, a decrease of 38,800 over the month.

The year-over-year change – December 2008 to December 2009 – showed a decrease of 579,400 jobs, down by 3.9 percent, the Employment Development Department reported. That followed a loss of 17,600 jobs in November.

Meanwhile, the federal survey of households showed a decrease in the number of employed people – estimating 15,978,000 Californians held jobs in December, a decrease of 88,000 from November, and down 973,000 from the employment total in December of last year, the Employment Development Department reported.

The report also estimated the number of people unemployed in California was 2,254,000 – down by 19,000 over the month, but up by 648,000 compared with December of last year.

The Employment Development Department reported that there were 792,764 people receiving regular

unemployment insurance benefits during the December survey week, compared with 781,449 in November and 655,445 in December 2008. New claims for unemployment insurance were 80,873 in December 2009, compared with 84,738 in November and 87,979 in December 2008.

In December, three job categories – information; financial activities; and educational and health services – added jobs over the month, gaining 10,600 jobs. Educational and health services posted the largest increase over the month, adding 7,500 jobs, according to the report.

Eight categories reported job declines for December totaling 49,400 jobs. They included mining

and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest decline over the month, down by 15,300 jobs, the Employment Development Department reported.

The report also explained that in a year-over-year comparison – from December 2008 to December 2009 – nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 579,400 jobs, down by 3.9 percent). One industry division, educational and health services, posted job gains over the year, adding 22,800 jobs – a 1.3-percent increase.

Ten categories – mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government – posted job declines over the year, down 602,200 jobs, the agency said.

In addition, trade, transportation and utilities employment showed the largest decline on a numerical basis, down by 127,100 jobs, a decline of 4.6 percent, while construction posted the largest decline on a percentage basis, down by 16.1 percent, a decrease of 116,100 jobs, according to the Employment Development Department.

E-mail Elizabeth Larson at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Follow Lake County News on Twitter at and on Facebook at .

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