Unemployment Rate in Santa Barbara County Increases to 7.2 Percent for the Month of January 2014

The State Employment Development Department (EDD) released today the unemployment rate and other jobs data for the month of January 2014. The unemployment rate increased to 7.2 percent in January 2014, from a revised 6.4 percent in December 2013, and below the year-ago estimate of 8.5 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 8.5 percent for California and 7.0 percent for the nation during the same period.

The county’s unemployment ranking in January, compared to the other 57 counties in California, positioned Santa Barbara County, now in 12th place behind other counties such as: Marin (4.7%), San Mateo (4.9%), San Francisco (5.3%), Orange (5.8%), Santa Clara (6.1%), San Luis Obispo (6.2%), Sonoma (5.7%), Napa (6.4%), Alameda (6.7%), Contra Costa (7.0%), Placer (7.0%) and San Diego (7.0%).

The total number of jobs in Industry sectors in Santa Barbara County decreased by 5,000 positions. At the same time, Professional and Business Services gained 200 jobs, and Mining and Logging, Information, and Financial Activities all remained stable with no jobs lost. All other industries experienced a decrease in their labor force including: Government — down 1,300 jobs; Trade, Transportation and Utilities — down 1,100; Leisure and Hospitality — down 600 positions; Educational and Health Services — down 400 jobs; Construction — minus 200 jobs; and Manufacturing — minus 100 positions.

Between January 2013 and January 2014, total employment in Santa Barbara County rose by 3,800 jobs or 2.1 percent. Some of the highlights for this period included:

Industries posting substantial gains over the year included: Private Services—up 2.2% or 2,400 jobs; Trade, Transportation and Utilities—up 4.3% or 1,100 positions; Retail Trade—up 700 jobs or 3.8%; Administrative and Support and Waste Services—up 7.5% or 700 positions; Wholesale Trade —up 7.0% or 300 jobs; Food and Beverage Stores — up 200 jobs or 4.3%; Management of Companies and Enterprises — up 200 jobs or 11.1%; City —up 7.4% or 200 jobs.

Some of the Industries that lost jobs for this period of time included: Mining and Logging —down 8.3% or 100; Federal Government— minus 200 positions or 5.3% and Arts, Entertainment and Recreation —down 3.3% or 100 jobs.

Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB) Director, Raymond L. McDonald commented, “Traditionally, in January, we seem to experience an increase in the unemployment rate and a decrease in industry employment, as many of the sectors experiencing loss are influenced by seasonal swings.” He added, “Last year we went from having an unemployment rate of 7.7% in December to 8.5% for January 2013.” He concluded, “We expect our industry sectors to remain strong and we anticipate coming back to being one of the top ten counties in the state.”

The local cities in Santa Barbara County with the highest unemployment continue to be Lompoc with an unemployment rate for January of 12.8% or 2,600 people unemployed; Guadalupe with 12.4 % or 300 unemployed and Santa Maria with 11.3% or 4,500 people unemployed. The city with the highest labor force continues to be Santa Barbara with 55,600, followed by Santa Maria with 39,800 and Lompoc with 20,200 workers.

According to INJCJC, US Initial Jobless Claims SA, the weekly initial jobless claim totals used to calculate local and federal UI (unemployment insurance) ratings is determined by the actual number of people who have filed for Unemployment benefits for the first time in a given period. And the following five (5) eligibility criteria must be met in order to file for Unemployment benefits: 1. meet the requirement of time worked during a 1 year period (full time or not), 2. have become unemployed through no fault of your own (was not fired), 3. must be able to work, no physical or mental holdbacks, 4. must be available for work, and 5. must be actively seeking work.


The Workforce Investment Board, www.SantaBarbaraCountyWIB.org, 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 www.workforceresource.com.

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 about Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board please visit our website at www.SantaBarbaraCountyWIB.org

For the full statewide unemployment figures visit: www.labormarketinfo.edd.ca.gov.

For the Department of Finance State Demographic Report Visit: www.dof.ca.gov

For information about The Santa Barbara County/Santa Barbara Foundation Poverty Study please go to: www.countyofsb.org/social_services/default.aspx?id=44131.

For more information about the WIB-led project for Santa Barbara Bank & Trust/Union Bank employees, please contact Luis Servin at l.servin@sbcsocialserv.org.


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