A report recently released by the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD) found that 700 more people in Santa Barbara County are at work this month compared to last month.

The county’s 8.9 percent unemployment rate, the report states, is down .2 percent from last month. There are currently 19,900 people unemployed within the county.

“It’s certainly good news any time we see the unemployment rates drop, no matter what the percentage,” Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Raymond L. McDonald said in a press release. “Knowing that several hundred people are back earning a regular paycheck is good for the local economy, and good for the county.”

In July, Lompoc and Guadalupe – the cities with the highest unemployment rates in the county – have also seen marked improvement with a .5 percent decrease in unemployed. Currently, Lompoc and Guadalupe have unemployment rates of 15.5 and 15 percent, respectively.

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.

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 report said.


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