Unemployment in Santa Barbara County ticked up from 7.3 percent in November to 7.6 percent in December, according to the State Employment Development Department. Sectors losing the most jobs included government (800, and 300 specifically in education) and professional and business services (300), a category that includes staffing agencies. Retailers gained about 300 jobs, many of them temporary for the holiday season. The unemployment rate in December last year was 8.5 percent.


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