July 16, 2024
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Vital Signs: The labor market still lagging behind


Statistics from The California Labor Market Information Division’s December 2022 report showed a declining unemployment rate across all three counties on the Central Coast, but job creation is still lacking far behind, according to the Economic Development Collaborative.

In Ventura County, only a net gain of 200 jobs was calculated for the month of December. It was the only county on the Central Coast to add jobs during the month.

Industries such as manufacturing, retail and leisure and hospitality all saw gains, but they were offset by a loss of 700 farming jobs.

A loss of farming jobs is not uncommon in the winter months, as the winter months bring a decline in the agricultural industry.

Across all three counties, 6,400 farm jobs were cut in December, most of those losses coming from Santa Barbara County with 5,200 job cuts.

Looking more into COVID recovery, Ventura County houses 337,000 industry jobs, down just 3,500 from pre-pandemic levels, according to the Economic Development Collaborative, highlighting the comeback some industries are seeing.

Still, the EDC pointed out that the overall labor force is struggling, still down about 9,000 workers from December of 2019.

The report noted the overall decline in the labor force is due to a variety of things, not the least of which is the high cost of living.