However, the average unadjusted (not seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate of 7.9 percent for the County represent an improvement from the 8.7 percent reported for the same period a year ago.
The unemployment statistics for Santa Barbara County released today compared to California’s unemployment rate of 10.7 percent and a national average of 8.3 percent for this reporting period.
Total non-farm jobs are highlighted by industry sectors such as Professional & Business Services up 7.3 percent for the first half of the year, Construction up 2.9 percent, and Education & Health Services up 2.3 percent year-to-date. Professional, scientific, technical services, administrative, support, and waste services have seen 11.0 percent growth in these specific job categories over this time period.
“The numbers released today represent challenges in the recovery with consistent growth in employment. Santa Barbara County overall is still below 8.0% unemployment rate as a bright spot in a recovery that is unpredictable,” said Raymond McDonald, Executive Director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board. “Reviewing where the economy has grown and where we’ve seen jobs being added to the workforce, like the 1,800 jobs in Professional & Business Services, from this time last year will help us identify strategies in workforce development. Another positive indicator of future full-time hiring is the uptick in the temporary employment sector that tends to be a leading indicator for future hiring,” added Mr. McDonald.
There are significant areas within the County that remain high with double-digit unemployment; Lompoc at 13.9 percent, Guadalupe city reported 13.5 percent, and Santa Maria reported 12.3 percent, all remaining steady from the previous month’s report.