Unemployment in the Tri-Counties and all over California hit its lowest levels in November since before the pandemic began, though the latest figures come from surveys taken before the post-Thanksgiving surge in COVID-19 cases and the new round of stay-home orders and business closures.
California’s unemployment rate in November was 8.2%, down from 9% in October, according to data released Dec. 18 by the California Employment Development Department.
The tri-county region has a much stronger job market than the state as a whole: Ventura County’s unemployment rate was 6.3% in November, down from 7.1% the month before; Santa Barbara County had a 5.8% unemployment rate in November, down from 6.3% in October; and San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate was 5.4% in November, down from 6% in October.
The combined unemployment rate for the Tri-Counties was 6% in November, down from 6.8% in October and 7.8% in September, according to a Business Times analysis of the state EDD data.
California’s jobs recovery began to slow down in November: the state added 57,100 jobs that month, after adding 145,600 jobs in October. The leisure and hospitality sector posted the biggest gains, with an increase of 27,800 jobs from the previous month. The trade, transportation and utilities sector also showed strong job growth, with 19,700 new jobs. The biggest job losses were in government, for the third straight month, as the federal government continued to wind down its temporary census workforce.
The state has now regained around 46% of the 2.6 million nonfarm jobs that were lost in March and April, when the unemployment rate hit 16.4%, the EDD said. The state unemployment rate in November 2019, before the pandemic, was 3.9%.