No jobs lost in March in Santa Barbara County, as industry sectors gain 3,100 new positions for the month

This is down from a revised 7.7 percent in February 2013, and below the year-ago estimate of 8.8 percent. This is compared to an unadjusted unemployment rate for California of 9.4 percent and 7.6 percent for the nation during the same period.

Industry sectors in Santa Barbara experienced another significant gain in jobs of 3, 100 for the month of March. There were no jobs lost in any of the industries for the month. Government; Leisure and Hospitality led the way adding 300 positions this month. Trade, Transportation & Utilities were second with 200 jobs, followed by Construction; Information; Financial Activities; Professional & Business Services; and Educational & Health Services with 100 jobs.

Between March 2012 and March 2013, total employment in Santa Barbara County rose by 7,400 jobs or 4.1 percent. Some of the highlights included:

Industries posting substantial gains over the year included: Private Service Producing (up 4.0% or 4,300 jobs), Professional & Business Services (up 7.2% or 1,800 jobs), with Administrative, Support and Waste Services showing an increase in jobs of 11% or 1,300 positions.

Job gains within Educational & Health Services (up by 900 jobs), with Health Care & Social Assistance increasing by 4.2% or 800 positions.

Other industries posting substantial gains over the year included: Leisure & Hospitality gaining 500 new positions or 2.3% and Information up by 200 jobs.

In contrast, Federal Government trimmed 200 jobs for the year.

Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Executive Director, Raymond L. McDonald stated, “the lower unemployment rate of 7.2 % across Santa Barbara County is reflected in the consistent job growth of all industries sectors throughout the area. This is an indication of sustainable improvements in the local region looking toward an economic recovery.”

The cities of Lompoc at 12.8 percent and Guadalupe at 12.4 percent are still holding the highest unemployment rates for the region.

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


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