Santa Barbara County’s unemployment numbers for October 2010 dropped to 8.7 percent, down .3 percent from last month, according to the monthly information released today by the state Employment Development Department (EDD). The average unadjusted (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate of 8.7 percent for the County in October 2010 is lower than the County’s 9.0 rate for September 2010, and also down .1 percent from the revised, 8.8 percent rate recorded a year ago for September 2009, the EDD announced November 19.

This compares to the current unadjusted unemployment rate statewide of 12.0 percent for California and 9.0 percent for the nation during the same reporting period of September 2010, the EDD reported.

Although Santa Barbara County’s average unemployment rate showed a positive dip for October 2010—including some progress in the County’s cities of Lompoc, Guadalupe and Santa Maria—the County’s unemployment ranking compared to the other 57 counties in California went from second lowest to third lowest. Marin County reported the lowest unemployment rate among all 58 California counties, at 8.0 percent, while San Mateo County came in second lowest at 8.5 percent. Santa Barbara County was third, at 8.7 percent while Imperial County suffers with the highest average unemployment rate in the California, and most of the nation, at 29.3 percent.

California’s seasonally adjusted rate for October 2010 was reported today by the EDD to be 12.4 percent, the same rate as reported for September 2010 and was listed as 12.2 percent for October 2009. The national average seasonally adjusted rates reported by the EDD include 9.6 percent for October 2010; 9.6 percent for September 2010, and 10.1 percent for one year ago in October 2009.

“We’re glad to see the County’s unemployment rates drop, especially as we enter the Holiday Season,” said Karen Dwyer, a small business owner and member of the Workforce Investment Board’s Board of Directors. “We need to remember, however, that we’re talking about real people, not just numbers, and we have more than 19,000 people unemployed in our county who want to work and we still have a long way to go to make sure that everybody who can is back to work.”

The October 2010 report shows Santa Barbara County currently has about 19,500 unemployed workers out of a total local labor force of about 224,000, meaning about 204,500 were employed last month. In September, the EDD reports showed the County had a (revised) total labor force of about 222,100 people, with 202,100 employed and about 20,000 unemployed.

For October 2010, Santa Barbara County’s cities in the north continue to be hit with the area’s highest unemployment rates. Locally, the highest unemployment rates for Santa Barbara County’s cities continues to be Lompoc at 15.3 percent (down from September’s 15.8 percent); Guadalupe at 14.8 percent (also down from the 15.3 percent recorded for September); and Santa Maria at 13.5 percent (down from 14.0 percent).

The cities with the lowest rates for October were Solvang at 3.3 percent (3.4 percent in September); Goleta at 4.3 percent (4.5 percent in September); and Carpinteria at 4.4 percent (4.5 percent in September). Santa Barbara at recorded a rate of 6.1 percent (6.4 percent in September) and Buellton was shown with rate of 6.3 percent for October (6.6 percent in September).

For October 2010, the EDD continued to show double-digit unemployment rates for the County’s Statistical Census Areas at Vandenberg Air Force Base at 13.8 percent (14.3 percent in September); Los Alamos at 12.5 percent (13.0 percent in September); Isla Vista at 11.8 percent (12.2 percent for September); and Mission Hills at 10.4 percent (10.8 percent in September) and while Orcutt dropped to 9.7 percent, down from 10.1 percent.

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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.


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