FAIRFIELD — Solano County for November had its lowest unemployment rate since October 2008 and had its largest number of residents with jobs ever.
The seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate ticked down a tenth of a point from October to 7.6 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday. More than 202,800 people had jobs, beating the old mark by 100.
To put things in perspective, the area during good economic times since 1990 experienced unemployment rates of 5 percent and lower, with this last occurring in 2006. Fewer people were employed, but the population and labor force were smaller.
On the other hand, the county unemployment rate soared to 12.4 percent in January 2011, the worst rate of the Great Recession and its aftermath. Since then, the overall rate has steadily and slowly fallen, though it has risen and fallen at times on a month-to-month basis.
Solano County has the highest unemployment rate among the nine Bay Area counties. But the competition is stiff. California has 58 counties and eight Bay Area counties have rates that qualify among the 10 lowest in the state.
Marin County has the lowest rate in the state at 4.6 percent, followed by San Mateo County at 5 percent and San Francisco County at 5.2 percent. Contra Costa and Alameda counties are tied for the 10th spot in the state at 6.8 percent. Solano County has the 18th lowest rate.
Among Solano County cities, Benicia had the lowest rate at 4.7 percent, followed by Rio Vista at 5.6 percent, Vacaville at 5.7 percent, Dixon at 6.1 percent, Suisun City at 7.9 percent, Fairfield at 8.4 percent and Vallejo at 9.5 percent.
California for November had a seasonally unadjusted rate of 8.3 percent and the nation, 6.6 percent.
Solano County added 1,700 jobs from October to November and has added 4,400 jobs since November 2012. The total is now 127,300.
That comes as good news in light of the August statistics, when the county lost 700 jobs. The dip now appears to be a blip, with the county adding 3,900 jobs in subsequent months.
Most of the job gains from October to November came in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added 1,200 jobs. Most of the job gains within this sector came in retail trade, said Linda Wong, North Bay labor market consultant with the state Employment Development Department.
“That’s pretty typical at this time of year, because the holiday season is here,” Wong said.
Farming lost 300 jobs as winter approaches.
“That’s also a seasonal trend,” Wong said.
The private education and health services sector added 1,000 jobs over the past year. It has experienced 56 consecutive months of year-over-year job increases.
“That’s a pretty strong sector in Solano,” Wong said.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.