San Benito County's unemployment rate was at 8.9 percent in February, a drop from 9.4 percent two months earlier and nearly 4 percent lower than the jobless rate at this time last year. Figures from January were not immediately made available by the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
The drop coincided with a drop in California's unemployment rate to 6.7 percent in February and a decrease in the U.S. unemployment rate to 5.5 percent.
The state's nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 29,400 during the month for a total gain of 1,827,900 jobs since the recovery began in February 2010, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department from two separate surveys. The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households. Nonfarm jobs in California totaled 15,949,200 in February, an increase of 29,400 jobs over the month, according to a survey of businesses that is larger and less variable statistically. The survey of 58,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change, February 2014 to February 2015, shows an increase of 476,400 jobs (up 3.1 percent).
EMPLOYMENT AND UNEMPLOYMENT IN CALIFORNIA
The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows an increase in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in February was 17,668,000, an increase of 48,000 from January, and up 450,000 from the employment total in February of last year. The number of people unemployed in California was 1.275 million– down by 42,000 over the month, and down by 217,000 compared with February of last year.
PAYROLL EMPLOYMENT DETAIL
In California, eight categories (mining and logging; construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; and leisure and hospitality) added jobs over the month, gaining 43,500 jobs. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest increase over the month, adding 12,600 jobs. Three categories (information; other services; and government) reported job declines over the month, down 14,100 jobs. Government posted the largest decrease over the month, down 8,400 jobs. In a year-over-year comparison (February 2014 to February 2015), nonfarm payroll employment in California increased by 476,400 jobs (up 3.1 percent).
Ten categories (construction; manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; other services; and government) posted job gains over the year, adding 476,900 jobs. Professional and business services posted the largest gains on numerical basis, adding 114,300 jobs (up 4.8 percent). Construction posted the largest gains on a percentage basis, up 6.5 percent (adding 43,400 jobs). One category, mining and logging, posted job declines over the year, down 500 jobs (a 1.6 percent decrease).
UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE CLAIMS
In related data, the EDD reported that there were 426,874 people receiving regular unemployment Insurance benefits during the February survey week. This compares with 397,142 in January and 539,062 in February of last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 43,302 in February, compared with 40,989 in January and 65,494 in February of last year.