The preliminary unemployment rate in Humboldt County in July was 3.4%, according to data released Friday by the state’s Department of Employment Development. This is in line with the revised June rate of 3.4% and significantly better than the July 2021 rate of 6.7%.
“We were flat month-over-month from June to July,” local labor market analyst Randy Weaver said Friday. “But the labor force and civilian employment and total industry employment both declined during this period, which probably partly explains its persistence.”
Comparing July 2021 to last July, there is an almost 50% drop in the number of local unemployed people – from 3,900 in July 2021 to 2,000 last month. During the same period, the number of employed workers rose from 54,400 to 57,000. But June of this year had 500 more workers in the labor force than July.
“What strikes me in July is that there are a lot of zeros where there just hasn’t been a lot of change because I think there’s been a lot of hesitation for a while. time on general economic conditions,” Weaver said. “I think that may have slowed down hiring a little bit. Temporarily, I think, it’s still super competitive there. But with fewer people in the workforce, of course, that always makes it more competitive for recruitment.
One of the industries with the largest decline is public works. In June, 14,100 people worked in local, state and federal government jobs. In July, that figure fell to 12,500, an 11.3% decline in the workforce.
“Government has really taken a hit almost in every area, but it’s usually mostly concentrated in local government employment,” he said, noting that it’s possible some jobs are tied to the end. of the school year.
Of the local towns, Arcata has the highest unemployment rate at 5.7% with approximately 500 residents unemployed. Rio Dell follows with an unemployment rate of 4.6%. Eureka has approximately 400 unemployed residents and a rate of 3.1%. McKinleyville and Fortuna have about 100 unemployed people and rates of 2.1% and 2.2% respectively.
Humboldt County is ranked 23rd out of 58 counties in unemployment and is pretty close to being tied with surrounding counties. Del Norte ranks 42nd and has a 4.6% unemployment rate but a significantly smaller workforce with just 8,700 employed in the rural county. Weaver noted Mendocino improved by a tenth of a percentage point. It ranks 20th in the state and has a rate of 3.2%.
“What we’re seeing is quite similar to what we’ve seen over the past two years,” Weaver concluded. “The decline in (the) working population is certainly a bit concerning.”
California’s unemployment rate fell to 3.9% in July, the lowest point since 1976, as employers in the nation’s most populous state continued to defy expectations by creating 84,800 new jobs.
“California are returning to work with record unemployment,” Governor Gavin Newsom said in a prepared statement. “We have historic reserves and are putting money back into people’s pockets as we continue to lead the country’s economic recovery.”
Record inflation coupled with a slowing housing market has prompted warnings of an economic slowdown as consumers react to high commodity prices, from groceries to gasoline.
But new figures released Friday by California’s Department of Employment Development show that its labor market has so far been immune to these problems, as the state recorded job growth of month to month in 17 of the last 18 months.
Nationally, unemployment rates fell in 14 states in July, rose in three states and remained the same in 33 states, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. California now has an unemployment rate slightly lower than Texas, but higher than Florida and Alabama – all Republican-led states whose leaders, California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom, have stood disputed in recent months.
Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520. The Associated Press contributed to this report.