The unemployment rate for Santa Barbara County increased to 6.3 percent in June 2013, according to figures released yesterday by the State Employment Development Department (EDD). This is up from a revised 5.6 percent in May 2013, and below the year-ago estimate of 8.0 percent. This is compared to an unadjusted unemployment rate for California of 8.8 percent and 7.8 percent for the nation during the same period.

Industry sectors in Santa Barbara gained 400 positions, in comparison to last month’s gain of 3,500. The industry with the most significant loss was Government, which trimmed 700 jobs. Other sectors that saw a decrease in the number of jobs included: Professional and Business Services, which lost 200; Information and Educational, and Health Services with minus 100 jobs each. On the other hand, Leisure and Hospitality experienced a good increase of 400 jobs. Other sectors with jobs gained included: Construction with a 200 position increase and Manufacturing with 100 positions.

Between June 2012 and June 2013, total employment in Santa Barbara County rose by 3,400 jobs or 1.8 percent. Some of the highlights for this period included:

-Industries posting substantial gains over the year included: Service Providing—up 1.9% or 2,800 jobs; Private Service Providing—up 2.1% or 2,400 jobs; Professional & Business Services—up 6.3% or 1,600 positions; Administrative, Support and Waste Services—up 9.9% or 1,200 jobs.

-Other industries posting substantial gains over the year included: Heath Care—700 jobs or 4.4%; Goods Producing—600 jobs or 3.0%; Construction—600 jobs or 9.0%; Educational and Health Services—600 jobs or 2.7%; Health Care and Social Assistance—600 jobs or 3.1%; State and Local Government—500 jobs or 1.5%.

-Industries that lost jobs for this period of time included: Accommodation—minus 200; Manufacturing and Retail Trade—minus 100 jobs, each.

Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) member and Owner of Express Employment Professionals, Karen Dwyer commented, “I think since May was overly positive, it wasn’t a surprise that the numbers leveled off a bit in June.”

Ray McDonald, Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Director added that “the loss of jobs in some of the sectors could potentially be expected, as many of them (especially government) reach the end of their program year at the end of June when they look to recalibrate their workforce expectations.”

In our local cities, the City of Lompoc remains at the top of the list with an unemployment rate of 11.3%. Lompoc is followed by Guadalupe with 11%, which increased from 9.7% last month. Santa Maria which had 8.8% percent unemployment last month, increases to 10% for the month of June 2013.


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

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 to: or to for the full statewide unemployment figures.


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