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Placer jobless percentage reverses course

But regional job gains grow
By: Gus Thomson, Reporter/Columnist
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Keeping pace with the region, Placer County’s jobless percentage rose in June.

And while the unemployment rate for Placer rose from 2.8 percent to 3.5 percent, the county kept its 10th-lowest ranking statewide from May.

Statistics released this week by the state Employment Development Department show jobless rates rising in neighboring counties as well. Sacramento County’s jumped from 3.4 percent to 4.3 percent. El Dorado County went from 3.2 percent to 3.9 percent. In Nevada County the unemployment rate rose to 3.8 percent from 3.2 percent.

Regionally, the jobless rate jumped from 3.3 percent in May to 4.1 percent in June.

Cara Welch, Employment Development Department labor market analyst, said that while rates jobless rates were up, so were the number of people with jobs. Combined employment in El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento and Yolo counties increased between May and June by 1,900 jobs to 997,100.

What changed was the number of people in the workforce, which rose from 1,071,500 in May to 1,078,100 in June, as school let out.

The state and U.S. unemployment rates also rose in June. The state rate increased from 3.7 percent in May to 4.5 percent. The U.S. rate went from 3.6 percent to 4.2 percent.

Seasonal job gains aided the increase in job numbers. The leisure and hospitality sectors swelled by 2,100 jobs regionally. A total of 1,300 were restaurant and fast-food eatery jobs.

Building construction jobs also had a bump, reaching 13,600 positions after 300 more were added between May and June.

Education and health services led year-over-year regional growth for the fifth consecutive month, with an increase of 5,800 jobs. Health care and social assistance — up a total of 4,700 jobs — accounted for 81 percent of the gains.

The continued increase in health jobs was again reflected in the number of job ads counted in the monthly survey by the Economic Development Department. Registered nursing positions accounted for 836 of the ads placed. Heavy truck and tractor-trailer drivers were also in demand, with 756 ads.

Employers with the most job ads were Sutter Health (613, which was up from 607 in May), University of California, Davis (535 to May’s 468) and Dignity Health 464 to May’s 514).