A spike in government hiring led Nevada County’s jobless rate to drop 0.7 percentage points in August to the lowest level since that same month in 2008, according to California’s Employment Development Department.
“It is going back to relatively normal August levels,” said Diane Patterson, an EDD labor market analyst. “That’s good.”
The county’s unemployment rate dropped to a seasonally unadjusted 7.2 percent, which included the addition of 900 jobs in the local government sector, according to EDD’s figures.
That nearly 20 percent increase from the month prior is likely attributed to school hiring, Patterson said.
“Typically, with most classified staff, they stay on payroll through the summer,” Patterson said. “When you see these numbers jump around during school breaks, those are normally nonclassified staff, the support staff.”
The decline in the number of the unemployed also includes the loss of 80 people from the county’s 50,820 person labor force, but the rate is still down significantly from a year ago when the county’s unemployment was 9 percent. It also represents a resumption of a downward trend that was interrupted by July’s 0.4 percentage point increase to 7.9 percent.
“The job gains are seasonal in nature,” Patterson said. “They are a little bit higher than normal.”
Statewide, the unemployment rate also dropped back after a July spike, settling in August to a seasonally unadjusted 8.8 percent. When California’s unemployment rate rose in July, it was the first increase since spring 2011.
The state has seen 26 consecutive months of job growth since the recession ended, the longest streak of any state, including the 29,100 jobs added in August.
California’s jobless rate had been in double digits and was among the highest in the country during the recession. It fell to a seasonally adjusted 8.6 percent in May, which was the first time it had been below 9 percent in five years.
It has been edging back up since then and remains above the national average of 7.3 percent. The Employment Development Department says more than 1.6 million Californians remain out of work, up 23,000 over July.
Nevada, at 9.5 percent, has the highest unemployment rate of any state, followed by Illinois, Rhode Island and Michigan.
The Associated Press’ Don Thompson contributed to this report. To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 530-477-4236.
“It is going back to relatively normal August levels. That’s good.”
labor market analyst