Orange County gained 12,100 jobs between March and April, fueled mainly by an uptick in hiring in the leisure and hospitality industry as employers beefed up their staffs for the summer travel season, according to new figures from the state's Employment Development Department.
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent last month; in March, the figure stood at 9.1 percent. That compares to a statewide jobless rate of 11.7 percent and 8.7 percent for the nation, according to the EDD.
Countywide, when factoring in the total month-over-month gains and losses, leisure and hospitality industry employers added the largest number of positions – 6,800 – with the majority of that growth occurring in accommodation and food services.
The professional and business services sector added 3,700 jobs, and the financial activities field posted a gain of 1,000.
Additional increases occurred in education and health services, which added 800 positions; other services, growing by 700; and government, with a gain of 300. Construction employers added 100 jobs; mining and logging remained unchanged.
Meanwhile, job cuts occurred in three sectors between March and April. The manufacturing industry shed 800 staffers. The trade, transportation and utilities sector chopped 400 positions. Information employers cut 100 jobs, according to the EDD.
Over the year, O.C. gained 12,700 jobs, which resulted in a 0.9 percent increase in total employment.
Leisure and hospitality again posted the largest year-over-year growth, adding 8,800 jobs. Other industries that reported increases between April and the same time last year were professional and business services; educational and health services; and financial activities.
Year-over-year losses occurred in government; trade, transportation and utilities; other services; construction; information; and manufacturing.
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