Credit: Adobe Stock | Credit: Andriy Blokhin -

As of May, Santa Barbara County has experienced its lowest unemployment rate since fall 2022. 

These statistics, provided by the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD), show a 3.3 percent rate for May, a drop from the previous month’s 4.2 percent unemployment rate.   

The EDD calculates the unemployment rates for the county by dividing the number of unemployed people by the total labor force in the area. Employed or unemployed workers who are at least 16 years old, not institutionalized (i.e., not in prison, a nursing home, or mental-health facility), and not in the military are accounted for in the labor force.  

Non-farming jobs made up the majority of the labor force within the county at 193,100 out of 228,100 workers in May. Between April and May, industries within leisure and hospitality, as well as the government, experienced an increase in 600 jobs each. 

The beginning of the year marked the highest rate of unemployment for Santa Barbara over the past two years, with an unemployment rate between 5.5 and 6 percent for the county, though it has dropped at a consistent rate since.  

Throughout the state, the unemployment rate in May was 4.5 percent, and had dropped from the previous month’s 4.9 percent. Nationwide, unemployment was at 3.7 percent last month.

Get News in Your Inbox


Please note this login is to submit events or press releases. Use this page here to login for your Independent subscription

Not a member? Sign up here.