PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Saturday, January 19, 2013

Job Market Continues to be Sluggish”

Figures released today by the State Employment Development Department (EDD) show that Santa Barbara County had a December 2012 unemployment rate of 7.6 %, slightly up from November's 7.3%. This compares to an 8.5% rate for the county for December 2011.

The downward monthly changes in jobs by specific industry sectors was mostly felt in the areas of Government (that lost 800 jobs) and Professional and Business Services (down 300 jobs) which includes staffing agencies.

According to Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Executive Director, Raymond L. McDonald: “The trend, locally, of minimal job gains or losses continues—and speaks to the fact that the economy remains sluggish.”

In addition, Mr. McDonald notes: “the loss of Government jobs, from State and Local government, were primarily in education; where belt-tightening and ending of project contracts is responsible for the reduction of 700 jobs.”

The biggest month-over-month gain, as expected during the Holiday shopping season, was in retail (300 jobs), that may include restaurants as well; and are probably seasonal in nature.

Looking at individual cities within the county, little has changed, with Lompoc (13.5%) and Guadalupe (13.1%) remaining the high points, with Santa Maria following close behind at 12%. While the south county cities of Santa Barbara (5.4%), Goleta (3.8%), and Carpinteria (3.8%) having single digit unemployment.

Complete Listing of Unemployment by cities:

Buellton city 5.5% Carpinteria city 3.8% Goleta city 3.8% Guadalupe city 13.1% Lompoc city 13.5% Santa Barbara city 5.4% Santa Maria city 12.0% Solvang city 2.9%


The Workforce Investment Board,, is dedicated to serving the workforce needs of businesses, adults, laid-off workers and youth throughout Santa Barbara County. The WIB is a public/private partnership created by the Federal Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and is staffed by the County of Santa Barbara.

Job seekers and employers can take advantage of free services at two Workforce Resource Centers (“One-Stops”) to help find work or new employees. Programs include employment services for job seekers, the latest labor market information and regional workforce research for businesses, as well as training that specialize in helping people gain the skills and confidence necessary to find and obtain a job. The One-Stop Shops are at 1410 S. Broadway in Santa Maria, (805) 614-1550, and 130 E. Ortega Street in Santa Barbara, (805) 568-1296. Online information is available at

Santa Barbara County Industry Clusters of Opportunity (designated by WIB):

- Healthcare

- Energy and Environment

- Building and Design

- Technology and Innovation

- Business Support Services

- Agriculture, Tourism, and Wineries

For more information please go to: or to for the full statewide unemployment figures.

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