The tri-county region’s combined unemployment rate dropped to 4.7% in October, down from 5% in September and a new pandemic-era low, according to new data released by the California Employment Development Department on Nov. 19.
The statewide unemployment rate in mid-October was 7.3%, down from 7.5% the month in September, as California added 96,800 non-farm jobs during the month. The state has now regained 67.4% of the 2.7 million jobs lost when COVID-19 arrived in March and April 2020. All sectors of the economy except government added jobs between September and October, with the biggest gains in professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; and trade, transportation and utilities.
Ventura County’s unemployment rate in October was 5%, down from 5.3% in September. Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate dropped from 4.7% in September to 4.5% in October, and in San Luis Obispo County, the unemployment rate dropped from 4.6% to 4.3%. All three counties had their lowest unemployment rates since March 2020.
In both Ventura and San Luis Obispo counties, the workforce grew from September to October, the ranks of the employed swelled, and the number of unemployed people shrank. In Santa Barbara County, though, the number of employed people stayed the same while the workforce shrank by a fraction of a percent, resulting in a lower unemployment rate. The unemployment rate only considers people who are actively looking for work as part of the workforce.