Thursday, December 22, 2005

County's Jobless Rate Shows Strength

County's Jobless Rate Shows Strength
By RACHEL RASKIN-ZRIHEN, Times-Herald staff writer
Vallejo Times Herald

Solano County area's latest unemployment numbers bode well for its economic future, a state employment department official says.
While the area's 5.1 percent unemployment in November is low, it's the number of overall jobs created since last year that really indicates an improved economy, according to Arvis Curry of the state's Employment Development Department.

"The number of jobs lost in some industries between October and November are offset by the number gained in others during the same period. It's the year-over totals, though, that really tell the story," Curry says.

The Vallejo area has gained about 2,000 jobs since November 2004, he says, mostly in construction, manufacturing, trade/transportation/utilities, the information sector and professional/business services.

It's not just the number of jobs gained, but which ones, he said.

"Manufacturing jobs were up in Solano County, where they're down in most of the rest of the state and the country, and that's something," Curry says. "And the professional and business services sector is usually a bellwether for permanent hiring."

The area's 6.1 percent growth rate is "decent" and indicates a growth rate "a little faster than the state," according to Curry.

"The numbers indicate improving economic conditions, outpacing the rest of the Bay Area in job creation overall," he says.

Napa area figures show 4.3 percent unemployment in November, up from 3.8 percent in October but below the year-ago estimate of 4.9 percent.

California's unemployment rate was 5.1 percent and the nation's was 4.8 percent during the same period.

- E-mail Rachel Raskin-Zrihen at or call 553-6824.

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