FAIRFIELD — Solano County in January saw its unemployment rise back into double digits for the first time since August 2012.
The rate rose from 9.2 percent in November 2012 to 9.4 percent in December 2012 to 10 percent in January. The number of employed people and the labor force both dropped.
But Linda Wong, an analyst with the state Employment Development Department, said a rise in the unemployment rate at this time of the year is typical.
“A lot of it has to do with the holiday shopping season as the temp workers wind down their work at retailers and whatnot,” Wong said. “It’s not just in Solano.”
The unadjusted rate for the state rose from 9.8 percent in December 2012 to 10.4 percent in January. The rate for the nation rose from 7.6 percent to 8.5 percent.
But the year-to-date view is more encouraging. Solano County from January 2012 to this January saw its unemployment rate fall from 11.1 percent to 10 percent. The number of people employed rose from 215,300 to 218,000.
Solano County over the year added 900 leisure and hospitality jobs; 500 trade, transportation and utility jobs; 500 educational and health services jobs; and 500 construction jobs.
“It’s always nice to get an overall picture rather than looking month-to-month,” Wong said.
Solano County in January had the 20th lowest unemployment rate among California’s 58 counties. Marin County has the lowest rate at 5.8 percent. Colusa County has the highest rate at 27.7 percent. Among neighboring counties, Napa is ranked seventh at 8 percent, Contra Costa County 10th at 8.6 percent and Yolo County 31st at 12.7 percent.
Among local cities, Benicia had a rate of 6.2 percent, Vacaville and Rio Vista 7.5 percent, Dixon 8 percent, Suisun City 10.3 percent, Fairfield 11 percent and Vallejo 12.3 percent.
The January unemployment rates came out a month later than usual because the Employment Development Department needed federal data to set its benchmarks. The February date – which is usually released in March – is to come out March 29.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.