The average unadjusted (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate of 8.9 percent for the county in March 2012 is lower than the revised number of 9.5 percent reported for the same time period from a year ago. Although Santa Barbara County’s average unemployment rate remained consistent with the revised numbers reported for the first two months of the quarter, the county’s unemployment ranking compared to the other 57 counties in California moved up one position to the 6th lowest in the state. The reported numbers show a total job gain of 6,300 jobs from revised numbers of March 2011 with Agriculture and Leisure & Hospitality reporting healthy increases.
“Job growth can follow the recovery process of peaks, valleys and consistent paths where you will see strong gains, a decrease, and/or periods of steady-state progression.” said Raymond McDonald, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board. “Reflecting on the same time period last year where the economy was shedding jobs in significant numbers economic indicators continue to show a positive outlook for a strengthening job market.”
Additionally, for March 2012 the regions within the county that have been challenged with unacceptably high unemployment rates, Lompoc at 15.5 percent; Guadalupe at 15.1 percent and Santa Maria at 13.8 percent, remained steady with their double-digit unemployment rates.
ABOUT THE WORKFORCE INVESTMENT BOARD OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
The Workforce Investment Board, www.SantaBarbaraCountyWIB.org, 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 www.workforceresource.com.