Unemployment Rate Hits Pre-Recession Low

Countywide, Santa Barbara’s unemployment rate dropped to 5 percent in May, the lowest since before the Great Recession struck in 2007. This April’s figure was 5.4 percent, and last May, it was 6.1 percent. Even though the biggest drops occurred in Santa Maria and Lompoc, these cities still have the county’s highest jobless rates at 8 and 9.1 percent, respectively. By contrast, Santa Barbara’s is 3.5 percent, Goleta’s 2.4 percent, and Carpinteria’s 2.5 percent. The majority of the new jobs were agricultural positions. Non-farm employment lost 200 jobs, with tourism losing 100.

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