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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa Barbara County Unemployment Rate Stable at 7.3%

Santa Barbara County’s average unemployment rate for November 2012 is 7.3% which has been holding steady for the last two months.


The November numbers released today by the State Employment Development Department (EDD) however, reflect an improvement from 8.2% in November a year ago.

On a county-wide comparison Santa Barbara County still ties with San Luis Obispo County in overall unemployment ratings but both have risen to fifth place from sixth place last month for the state unemployment ranking compared to the other 57 counties in California.

The California unemployment rate for November decreased to 9.8% from 10.1% from a month ago and 10.2 the previous month and from 11.5% for the same time period in 2011. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.

The U.S. unemployment rate decreased in November to 7.7% from 7.9% a month ago.

Raymond L. McDonald, Executive Director for the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board, stated, “the no-change unemployment rate for November indicates that the local economy, overall, is steady. Unlike during the height of the recession when we were experiencing monthly increases across most industry sectors, we now appear to have returned to the ‘norm’ for this time of year. Hopefully, job growth will increase as we enter 2013—though the national government decisions around taxation and debt will certainly be factors.”

He also added, “A bright spot in today’s unemployment figures is when you look back at where we were last year, at 8.2% unemployment, and realize how far we’ve come to arrive at the current 7.3% rate. The WIB has pointed out in the past that growth in the ‘Professional and Business Services’ category (an increase since January 2012 of 2,900) is significant in that this indicates growth in staffing agency placements—which is often a prelude to permanent job growth across all industries.”