Napa County’s unemployment rate in October remained at 6.9 percent, a four-year low, according to data released Friday from the state Employment Development Department.
The rate was unchanged from September and is below the year-ago figure of 8 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 9.8 percent in October for California and 7.5 percent for the nation.
Napa’s jobless rate for October was the fourth lowest among the state’s 58 counties.
The number of jobs in Napa County increased by 400 positions from September to October. While farm and leisure and hospitality jobs declined slightly, non-farm, manufacturing and government jobs all saw increases month over month.
Unemployment varies between individual cities in the county, from essentially zero in the Deer Park area, to 3,300 unemployed persons in Napa city, and 600 in American Canyon.
In the city of Napa, there were 42,900 employed persons out of a 46,200-person labor force, the Employment Development Department reported.
Wayne Nash, coordinator of the Workforce Napa career center, said that job seekers seem more optimistic compared to last year. “It was dismal” in 2011, he said.
“Jack in the Box just walked in and said they want to hire 50 workers,” Nash said.
In addition to Jack in the Box, which is building a new restaurant on Trancas Street, Ulta Beauty, Panera Bread and the Cinemark Napa Valley theater are several other new or expanding employers in town.
Visits to the Workforce career center by job seekers have declined recently, Nash said. In August, the center logged 781 visits. In September the number declined to 535, then increased to 567 in October.
“The pace is about the same for November,” Nash said. Some of the drop is due to people who stop looking for work during the holidays, he said.
The number of new users at the Workforce Napa career centers also varied, from 118 in August to 69 in September, and 104 in October.
According to a separate Employment Development Department jobs report, employers with the most job ads in Napa County in October included St. Helena Hospital, Treasury Wine Estates, Alkar Human Resources, Wells Fargo and Hyatt hotels.
There were 1,254 job ads noted for Napa city, 166 in St. Helena and 56 in American Canyon. Retail jobs, wait staff and registered nurses were among the occupations with the most job ads in Napa County.
In another report, winejobs.com released data detailing wine job posting trends as of October. The organization’s index indicates that job postings by wineries increased 22 percent from a year earlier.