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O.C. adds jobs in October, local unemployment ticks up

Orange County added 13,500 jobs in October as more jobseekers return to search for work

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: November 16, 2012 11:15 AM

The local unemployment rate saw a slight bump during the month, up to 7.2 percent from 7.1 in September, according to the latest report from the California Employment Development Department. September's was the lowest unemployment rate the county had seen since December 2008. Orange County continues to outpace the state and the nation in terms of the local jobs; California’s unemployment picture currently measures up at a rate of 10.1 percent, whereas last month's national unadjusted rate comes in at 7.5 percent.

Despite the small uptick in the local unemployment rate, Dr. Wallace Walrod, chief economic advisor for the Orange County Business Council, characterized the latest report as “great news.”

“Job creation [in Orange County] continues to occur at a robust pace. The EDD indicates a gain of 13,500 jobs over the last month, with significant growth in Professional and Business Services, Construction, Trade, Education and Health Services, and Financial Services. The primary reason that the unemployment rate rose slightly is that more O.C. residents have actively started to look for work now that the job market continues to improve. All in all this is great news.”

A significant drop was seen in the leisure and hospitality sector, with 2,300 jobs lost from September to October. This is likely due to lingering seasonal drop-off from the more profitable warmer tourism season.

The largest year-over-year decline was seen in government, which lost 7,700 jobs. Manufacturing also lost positions, with 2,300 shaved off of that sector. Hefty gains over the last twelve months were seen in the leisure and hospitality industry, which put on 7,700 jobs, professional and business services, which gained 6,400 positions, and financial activities, which added 6,000 jobs. Other gains were seen in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (4,600 jobs), construction (2,900 jobs), and education and health services (2,600 jobs).

Significant gains over the month were seen in government, adding 4,400 jobs, business and professional services, which added 3,900 jobs, and education and health services, which gained 3,300 positions. Other sectors to add jobs were trade, transportation and utilities and financial activities (1,600 jobs each) and construction (1,200 jobs).

In all cases, the county is gaining significantly more jobs than are being lost.

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