Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Unemployment down slightly in Solano County

Article Last Updated: Tuesday, Sep 20, 2005 - 11:39:14 pm PDT

Unemployment down slightly in Solano

By Christine Cubé

- Unemployment in Solano County fell a bit in August, according to figures released by the state Employment Development Department.

The county's August jobless rate was 5.3 percent, down from the 5.5 percent recorded in both June and July. The unemployment rate for the state was 5.2 percent for August.

Solano County boasted a workforce of 215,900, representing 204,400 employed individuals and 11,500 unemployed individuals.

The bump in the workforce breaks a two-month static jobless rate that held for a good part of the summer.

Nonfarm payroll employment in California grew by 17,200 jobs over the month, said the department's Labor Market Information Division. An Employment Development Department survey of employers found a total of 14,808,800 nonfarm employees in the state for August.

A separate survey found the number of Californians holding jobs in August reached a record high for a fifth consecutive month at 16,957,000. This reflects a boost of 75,000 jobs over the previous month.

The number of those unemployed in California was 930,000. A year ago, the state's jobless rate hovered at a little more than 6 percent.

Throughout the Vallejo-Fairfield metropolitan statistical area, there were a total of 129,800 jobs in August. That's up 500 jobs over July.

Solano County's jobless rate is a smidge greater than the national rate. The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the jobless rate was 4.9 percent in August. It's the lowest unemployment rate reported since August 2001.

With the situation in and around New Orleans, labor officials have yet to release a clear picture on national unemployment and how the hurricane plays into it.

In a release, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao said the nation is facing the challenge of Hurricane Katrina from a position of economic strength.

"Our economy has seen 27 straight months of job growth," she said. "Net job growth has averaged about 194,000 per month, which has been above forecasts. It is also significant that the unemployment rate fell last month while the labor force participation rate rose, meaning a higher percentage of the population is working."

The month before the hurricane in July, the national number of unemployed individuals was 7.5 million. In July 2004, the number of unemployed across the country was 8.2 million.

Reach Christine Cubé at 427-6934 or

Local employment figures for August 2005

Location Labor Force Employment Unemployment Rate

Solano County 215,900 204,400 11,500 5.3 percent

Benicia 17,400 16,800 600 3.2 percent

Dixon 9,100 8,700 400 4.2 percent

Fairfield 49,300 46,500 2,800 5.7 percent

Rio Vista 2,400 2,300 100 3.8 percent

Suisun City 15,000 14,200 800 5.4 percent

Vacaville 46,400 44,600 1,800 3.8 percent

Vallejo 65,000 61,000 4,300 6.6 percent

Source: State of California Employment Development Department Labor Market Information Division

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