Local jobless rate rises following end of harvest

Most of California has more unemployment
2012-12-21T14:00:00Z 2012-12-21T22:34:37Z Local jobless rate rises following end of harvestKEVIN COURTNEY Napa Valley Register
December 21, 2012 2:00 pm  • 

While the state’s unemployment rate dropped below 10 percent in November, Napa County’s jobless rate shot up from 6.9 percent to 7.5 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The jump in the local unemployment rate was a reversal of a recent downward trend. October’s 6.9 percent rate was the lowest in four years, state officials said.

Linda Wong, a labor market consultant with the state, said a substantial drop in farm employment following the grape harvest was largely to blame for Napa’s November statistic.

“It’s definitely seasonal,” Wong said Friday. “It’s pretty typical for this time of year.”

Napa County had 5,400 farm jobs in October, but only 3,200 such jobs in November, a decrease of 2,200 jobs, Wong said.

Even at 7.5 percent, Napa’s preliminary jobless rate for November was the seventh lowest of California’s 58 counties, the Employment Development Department said. In November 2011, the local jobless rate was 8.5 percent

Marin County, at 5.8 percent, had the state’s lowest rate last month, while Imperial County, at 26.6 percent, had the state’s highest. Sonoma County’s November rate was

7.7 percent, Solano’s 9.3 percent and Lake’s 14.5 percent.

The national rate in November was 7.4 percent, down from 7.5 percent in October.

Napa County had 5,600 people officially listed as looking for work in November compared to 6,400 people in November 2011, the state said.

Napa County had 69,700 people with jobs in November, up 700 from a year ago, according to the Employment Development Department.

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