Following a national trend, unemployment ticked up both statewide and locally in January according to Employment Development Department data. The unemployment rate in Santa Barbara County was 8.4 percent compared to 7.7 percent in December and 9.2 percent last January, as 4,600 jobs were lost. Trade, Transportation and Utilities — which includes the retail sector — was the biggest loser, down 1,100 jobs. Unemployment numbers in North County cities tended to run above the county average, while cities on the South Coast were doing better.


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