This is an increase from a revised 7.7 percent in December and 7.3 percent in November 2012, and below 9.2 percent from the same time last year. The unemployment rate for California and the nation also experienced an increase, from 9.7 to 10.4 percent in the state and from 7.6 to 8.5 percent in the nation.

In total, 4,600 jobs were lost across all sectors; the most significant lost was seen in Trade, Transportation and Utilities which lost 1,100 positions. Government, which had already lost 800 positions last month, lost 900 more for January. In addition, Leisure & Hospitality also lost 600 jobs. The only industry that showed gain was Professional Business Services, which saw an increase of 200 jobs.

Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Executive Director, Raymond L. McDonald noted that “despite the unfortunate jumps, most of the national economic indicators continue to point towards a slow, but steady recovery.”

In addition, Mr. McDonald added: “We should also note that Santa Barbara County’s workforce has increased by 7100 over the same period last year, and the sectors experiencing loss in this current report are areas that are influenced by seasonal swings. The coming months should be watched very closely to see if the slow economic recovery takes hold in Santa Barbara.”

As expected, the unemployment rates for individual cities within the county were also hit by this rippling effect. Lompoc (14.7%) and Guadalupe (14.2%) and Santa Maria (13%) remaining the high points. One of the cities that hit the double digits this month was Mission Hills that went from 9.2% to 10%.

Complete Listing of Unemployment by cities:

Buellton city 6.1%

Carpinteria city 4.2%

Goleta city 4.1%

Guadalupe city 14.2%

Lompoc city 14.7%

Santa Barbara city 5.9%

Santa Maria city 13.0%

Solvang city 4.2%


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 click here.

Santa Barbara County Industry Clusters of Opportunity (designated by WIB):


Energy and Environment

Building and Design

Technology and Innovation

Business Support Services

Agriculture, Tourism, and Wineries

For more information please go click here or click here for the full statewide unemployment figures.


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