Santa Barbara County’s Unemployment Rate Drops

Workforce Investment Board

The average unadjusted (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate of 7.4 percent for the county in May 2012 is lower than the revised number of 8.1 percent reported for the same period from a year ago.

The drop in the unemployment numbers released today compared with numbers to California’s unadjusted unemployment rate at 10.4 percent and a national average of 7.9 percent show positive signs of recovery in the local job market. Santa Barbara County continued to add to the civilian labor force while hiring to fill 3,700 more positions from April to May 2012. Nonfarm positions created the larger percentage of these jobs with Leisure and Hospitality, Professional and Business Services, and Education among the sectors with the strongest growth for this reporting period.

Santa Barbara County’s unemployment ranking compared to the other 57 counties in California is currently reported as the 3rd lowest in the state. The state reported six other counties below 8.0 percent; Marin (6.3%), San Mateo (6.8%), San Francisco (7.4%), Napa (7.5%), Orange (7.5%) and San Louis Obispo (7.8%).

“Today’s positive employment report from the state should continue to build confidence in the workforce system throughout the county.” said Raymond McDonald, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board. “We are continuing to see communities that work together implementing workforce development and economic vitality programs starting to see consistent improvement.” Mr. McDonald went on to say, “Cities like Lompoc, Guadalupe City, and Santa Maria have been challenged with higher than acceptable unemployment rates but have improved their unemployment numbers for the second straight month.”

Lompoc reported a drop to 13.1 percent, Guadalupe City dropped to 12.7 percent, and Santa Maria decreased to 11.6 percent.

About the Workforce Investment Board of Santa Barbara County

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 available at

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


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