Nevada County unemployment rate drops |

Nevada County unemployment rate drops

Nevada County businesses are getting a look at the overall labor force for the first time since October’s government shutdown, to see a declining pool of workers as the area’s unemployment rate continues to slowly drop.

“Our estimates are via a computer program with the Federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, and we can’t release our data until they release their numbers,” said Diane Patterson, an analyst with California’s Employment Development Department. “Because of the shutdown, they were not able to get their numbers on time, so our release was delayed, as well.”

Employment data published Friday shows that Nevada County’s unemployment rate dropped from a seasonally unadjusted 7.2 percent in August to 6.9 percent in September, only to increase slightly to 7.1 percent in October.

“It did go up, but that is seasonal in nature. It usually changes slightly,” Patterson said. “One of the reasons the unemployment rate goes down is because some people lose their seasonal summer jobs. I don’t have sufficient information to pinpoint that, but that is the normal trend this time of year in most markets.

Compared to the 2010 peak of October unemployment rates of 11 percent, Patterson said “the current rate is looking pretty positive.” Compared to October 2012, this year’s October unemployment rate is 1.6 percentage points lower.

Statewide, California’s unemployment rate fell from an August 8.8 percent to 8.2 percent in September and mirrored Nevada County’s slight increase in October, creeping up to 8.3 percent.

The San Francisco Bay Area posted some of the state’s lowest jobless rates. San Mateo had the lowest rate among all California counties at a seasonally adjusted 5.1 percent, followed by San Francisco and Napa at 5.3 percent.

Several large Southern California counties were above the state average, with San Bernardino at 9.4 percent, Los Angeles at 9.5 percent and Riverside at 10.1 percent. Orange County’s jobless rate was 5.8 percent and San Diego’s was 7 percent.

Imperial County, a farming region in the southeast corner of the state along the Mexican border, had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 25.2 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to an unadjusted 7 percent in September that held until October, a slight drop from August’s 7.3 percent.

Summer workers are also likely responsible for the season decline in Nevada County’s overall labor force, Patterson said, which dropped from 50,790 to 48,940 between August and October.

The labor force typically goes down this time of year between September and October,” she said. “That is largely driven by students that entered the labor force for the summer, who drop out of the labor force at the end of summer break as they go back to school.”

California added 39,800 nonfarm jobs in October. Gains were broad, with the construction, leisure and hospitality and other sectors expanding payrolls. Government led the way with 12,200 new jobs.

Only two of 11 sectors shrank during October — manufacturing and finance.

In Nevada County, the leisure and hospitality sector of the market saw the largest decline, down 300 jobs from 4,350 in August.

This article contains information compiled by the Associated Press. To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call 530-477-4236.

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