Saturday, 25 May 2024

State unemployment rate rises to 10.5 percent in February

SACRAMENTO – California's unemployment rate continued to edge upward in February, according to a new report.


California’s unemployment rate increased to 10.5 percent last month, the Employment Development Department reported Friday. The agency reported that nonfarm payroll jobs declined by 116,000 during February.


The U.S. unemployment rate also increased in February to 8.1 percent.


Preliminary February unemployment numbers for Lake County are 15.9 percent, down slightly from 16 percent in January, as Lake County News has reported. Lake's February unemployment numbers gave the county a rank of No. 42 among the state's 58 counties, an improvement over its No. 47 ranking in January.


In January, the state’s unemployment rate was 10.1 percent, and in February 2008, the unemployment rate was 6.2 percent. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.


In February Marin had the state's lowest unemployment rate, at 6.8 percent. The highest unemployment in a county was found in Colusa, at 26.6 percent.


Lake's neighboring counties showed the following February unemployment numbers and statewide rankings: Napa, 8.5 percent, No. 8; Sonoma, 9.1 percent, No. 10; Yolo, 12 percent, No. 27; Mendocino, 11 percent, No. 22; Glenn, 16.4 percent, No. 46.


The survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (February 2008 to February 2009) shows a decrease of 605,900 jobs (down 4.0 percent).


The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows a decrease in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in February was 16,621,000, a decrease of 47,000 from January, and down 495,000 from the employment total in February of last year.


The number of people unemployed in California was 1,950,000 – up by 80,000 over the month, and up by 824,000 compared with February of last year.


Survey shows areas of job growth, loss


EDD’s report on payroll employment (wage and salary jobs) in the nonfarm industries of California totaled 14,534,800 in February, a net loss of 116,000 jobs since the January survey. This followed a loss of 76,600 jobs (as revised) in January.


One category, information, added jobs over the month, gaining 7,900 jobs. Ten categories (natural resources and mining; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) reported job declines this month, down 123,900 jobs.


Construction posted the largest decline over the month, down by 30,900 jobs.


In a year-over-year comparison (February 2008 to February 2009), nonfarm payroll employment in California decreased by 605,900 jobs (down 4.0 percent).


Two industry divisions (natural resources and mining and educational and health services) posted job gains over the year, adding 31,000 jobs. Educational and health services showed the strongest gain on both a numerical and percentage basis, adding 30,900 jobs (a 1.8 percent increase).


Nine categories (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 636,900 jobs.


Trade, transportation and utilities employment showed the largest decline on a numerical basis, down by 159,900 jobs (a decline of 5.5 percent). Construction posted the largest decline on a percentage basis, down by 18.5 percent (a decrease of 155,100 jobs).


In related data, the EDD reported that there were 768,762 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the February survey week. This compares with 717,525 last month and 480,504 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 76,303 in February 2009, compared with 75,514 in January and 49,321 in February of last year.


EDD reportedt is now opening its call center phone lines from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays

beginning March 21 in continued response to increased demand for unemployment insurance benefit assistance.


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