Santa Barbara County’s unemployment numbers for August 2010 showed some positive, downward progress from the July 2010 numbers and a small increase in jobs, according to the monthly information released today by the state Employment Development Department (EDD). Overall, Santa Barbara County logged an unadjusted (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate of 8.9 percent in August 2010, down .2 percent from the revised, 9.1 percent rate recorded in July 2010, the EDD announced September 17.

This compares to the unemployment rate statewide of 12.4 percent for California and 9.5 percent for the nation. In July 2010, the statewide unemployment rate was 12.3 percent and, one year ago, the rate was listed at 12.0 percent for California. Santa Barbara County’s rate last year for August 2009 was 9.5 percent, the EDD said.

“It’s certainly good news any time we see the unemployment rates drop, no matter what the percentage. Knowing that several hundred people are back earning a regular paycheck is good for the local economy, and good for the County,” Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Raymond L. McDonald said. “I’m sure this will be the hot topic that everybody will be talking about at next week’s Goleta Economic Summit September 17.”

The August 2010 report shows Santa Barbara County’s unemployment ranks of 19,900 actually decreased by about 700 from the July 2010 total of 20,600 unemployed. In all, the 8.9 percent unemployment rate for the County’s reflected a total labor force for August of about 224,000 people, with 204,100 employed and 19,900 unemployed. In July 2010, the figures showed a labor force of 224,500 people, with 203,900 employed and 20,600 unemployed for the 9.2 percent unemployment rate, according to EDD statistics.

For August 2010, Santa Barbara County continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates among California’s 58 counties and continues to rank second lowest in the state behind Marin County’s 8.4-percent rate.

Locally, the highest unemployment rates for Santa Barbara County’s cities were Lompoc at 15.5 percent, but which is also down .5 percent from the 16 percent rate last month. Guadalupe also showed a .5 percent drop, down to 15 percent in August from 15.5 percent in July.

Santa Maria dropped to 13.8 percent in August, down from 14.2 percent in July and the Vandenberg Air Force Base statistical area also showed a decrease in August to 14 percent, versus last month’s 14.5 percent. County cities with the lowest unemployment rates for August were Solvang at 3.4 percent; Carpinteria and Goleta, both at 4.4 percent, and Santa Barbara at 6.3 percent. All cities showed slight decreases in their month-to-month rates.

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 also available .

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

For more information about the Goleta Economic Summit on September 24, 2010, contact Kristen Amyx, President/CEO, Goleta Valley Chamber of Commerce, at (805) 967-2500 ext.8, or online.


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