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UNEMPLOYMENT
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O.C.'s unemployment rate drops in September

Region gains 5,700 jobs over the month, says EDD.

By Kristen SchottPublished: October 16, 2009 10:42 AM

Photo courtesy of Fotolia
Orange County's unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in September, down from a revised 9.8 percent in August, according to just-released stats from the state's Employment Development Department. It's the first decline in the rate since April, but the number is still higher than the year-ago estimate of 5.7 percent.

"We are cautiously optimistic," says Orange County Business Council President and CEO Lucy Dunn of the decline, "but I suspect we'll remain in this range for a while longer."

Orange County gained 5,700 nonfarm positions between August and September. The government sector saw the largest increase, with 5,100 jobs added over the month. Educational and health services also had a meaty increase of 2,400 positions. Construction and other services, which includes activities such as equipment and machinery repairing, and personal care services, each posted an uptick of 100.

On the other hand, the leisure and hospitality industry lost 1,500 jobs. Professional and business services also saw a decline of 300, followed by trade, transportation and utilities with 200.

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