FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s unemployment rate continues to improve, but remains far above pre-recession levels.
The seasonally adjusted rate for February was 7.9 percent, the state Employment Development Department announced Friday. That compares to 8.2 percent in January. The number of residents with jobs rose from 199,100 to 200,300.
The year-to-year comparison is more impressive. In February 2013, 197,400 residents had jobs and the unemployment rate was 9.3 percent.
Still, the journey to get back to the pre-recession workforce remains long. Solano County for all of 2005 had an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent. A recent county report said another 6,285 residents must find jobs to return to that level.
Solano County’s 7.9 percent unemployment rate in February was worse than the national unadjusted rate of 7 percent. But it was better than California’s rate of 8.5 percent.
As usual during this slow economic recovery, Central Valley counties lag behind Bay Area counties when it comes to having residents employed. Solano County straddles the two regions and the data reflects this.
Solano County’s rate is the highest among the nine Bay Area counties. By comparison, Marin County has a 4.8 percent rate – best in the state – San Mateo County 5 percent, San Francisco 5.2 percent, Napa and Santa Clara counties 6.1 percent, Sonoma County 6.2 percent, Alameda County 6.7 percent and Contra Costa County 7 percent.
But Solano County’s rate is better than most Central Valley counties. Colusa County has the highest rate in the state at 24.2 percent. Yolo County has a rate of 10.4 percent, Sacramento County 8.1 percent and San Joaquin County 13.1 percent.
Among California’s 58 counties, Solano County has the 16th lowest rate.
Among local cities, Benicia as usual had the lowest rate at 4.9 percent. Vacaville and Rio Vista had rates of 5.9 percent, Dixon 6.3 percent, Suisun City 8.2 percent, Fairfield 8.7 percent and Vallejo 9.8 percent.
The Employment Development Department report also looks at how many jobs are created in the county.
Solano County in February had 127,300 jobs. That’s 1,300 more than in January and 3,400 more than a year ago.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.