FAIRFIELD — The unemployment rate in Solano County rose slightly in July – a change that partly reflects students entering the labor force, a state agency says.
“The slight uptick is pretty typical,” said Linda Wong, North Bay labor analyst for the state Employment Development Department.
The 7.2 percent rate in July follows the 6.8 percent rate in June. The unemployment rate a year ago for Solano County was 8.6 percent.
“We have been seeing a slow decline in the unemployment rate not only in Solano County but other North Bay counties,” Wong said.
Solano County continues to have the highest rate in the Bay Area although the county is 19 among the state’s 58 counties. Wong said other Bay Area counties benefit from more high-tech employment.
A total of 15,800 people were unemployed in Solano County according to preliminary figures for July. Employed residents total 202,300.
The U.S. Census population estimate was 424,788 for Solano County in 2013.
Marin County at 4.4 percent has the lowest unemployment rate in California, followed by San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Imperial County east of San Diego has the highest unemployment rate at 24.7 percent.
California’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent in July, but two surveys used to calculate the rate showed different results, the state EDD reported Friday.
EDD said its survey of businesses in the state found an increase of about 27,700 jobs. But a federal survey of households used to calculate the unemployment rate found 31,000 fewer jobs in July than in June. That leaves the state in a holding pattern, with the same jobless rate as June, although it improved from the 9 percent unemployment in July 2013.
Educational and health services reported the biggest July jobs increase in the survey of employers, adding 10,900 jobs. The largest decline was in construction, which reported 6,400 fewer jobs in July than a month earlier.
Michael Bernick, a former EDD director and a fellow at the Milken Institute economic think tank, told The Associated Press that the two reports state officials use to measure employment sometimes conflict because they survey different groups. But he said a gain of about 27,000 jobs in July is consistent with California’s share of the national economy and reflects people re-entering the job market.
The unemployment rate does not include people who have stopped looking for work.
“We’ve had steady growth since, really, February of 2010,” Bernick said. “This continues the narrative and is pretty much in line with our share of the national economy.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.