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Job picture brighter for Placer County

4.4 percent unemployment rate in September is another drop
By: Gus Thomson of the Auburn Journal
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County unemployment rates in September

Placer  4.4 percent

Nevada 4.7

El Dorado 4.8

Sacramento 5.4

Yolo 5.3

San Mateo 3

Imperial 21.6

California 5.5

United States 4.9

Source: Employment Development Department

A buoyant job market has dropped Placer County’s unemployment rate even lower.

State Employment Development Department statistics released this week for Placer County show the jobless rate dropping from 4.9 percent in August to 4.4 percent in September to lead the region.

The result of the department’s monthly poll of employers was enough to place Placer County 11th-best in the state among 58 counties in terms of unemployment rates. San Mateo County rated lowest at 3 percent and tiny Imperial County had the highest jobless rate at 21.6 percent.

Placer County’s figures represent 7,800 people looking for work in a workforce of 177,500.

Labor market analyst Elizabeth Bosley said the unemployment rate in the Sacramento-Roseville-Arden statistical area, which includes Placer and El Dorado counties, was 5.2 percent in September – down from a revised 5.7 percent in August. The year-ago estimate was 6.6 percent.

The change year-over-year in the region represents an uptick of 23,100 jobs to 925,700.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in September, which The Associated Press reported is the lowest in nearly eight years.

The state’s jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point, down from 6.1 percent in August, as a result of payroll gains. The last time California’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent was in the pre-Great Recession month of November 2007.

While the state’s job market continues to expand, it grew at a slower pace. The agency said California added 8,200 jobs in September, following a gain of 42,000 jobs in August. The state’s survey found a total of 16,500 jobs were gained by construction, trade, transportation and utilities, information, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, government, and other services.

But four categories – mining and logging, manufacturing, financial activities and education and health services – reported a loss of 8,300 jobs.

The overall number of people unemployed was down by 43,000 since August and stands at 1.1 million. That figure doesn’t include Californians who have stopped looking for work, or people working part-time who would rather be working full-time.