FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s unemployment rate fell from 8.5 percent in July to 8.2 percent in August – even as the number of Solano County jobs fell by 700.
The data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department proved to be mixed. Looking at the data in one way provides negative news, but in another way provides what appears to be positive news.
A falling unemployment rate doesn’t always mean more people working. Solano County had fewer people employed in August than in July – 200,600 compared to 201,500. But fewer people were in the labor force, 218,400 compared to 220,200. Fewer job-seekers led to a lower unemployment rate.
That 8.2 percent seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate compares to 8.8 percent for California and 7.3 percent for the nation. It also compares to 10.1 percent in Solano County for August 2012, which means the year-long trend is positive.
On another front, Solano County lost 700 jobs from July to August, for a total of 123,400. The trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 400 jobs. This sector includes stores, trucking and warehousing.
Among other sectors, financial activities, educational and health services, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and government each lost 100 jobs. Construction and manufacturing proved to be the lone bright spot, with each sector gaining 100 jobs.
“It’s one month,” said Linda Wong, a labor market consultant with the Employment Development Department. “Employment data does fluctuate from month to month.”
On the positive side, the number of jobs in Solano County rose 1,900 from August 2012 to August 2013, she said.
Benicia, as usual, had the lowest unemployment rate in the county at 5 percent, followed by Vacaville at 6 percent, Rio Vista at 6.1 percent, Dixon at 6.5 percent, Suisun City at 8.4 percent, Fairfield at 8.9 percent and Vallejo at 10.1 percent.
The county had the 24th lowest unemployment rate among California’s 58 counties. Marin County had the lowest at 5 percent. Imperial County had the highest at 26.3 percent.
Solano County’s 8.2 percent rate for August continued to be the highest among the nine Bay Area counties. For example, neighboring Napa County had a rate of 5.8 percent. Neighboring Contra Costa County had a rate of 7.3 percent.
Solano County’s rate looks better when compared to nearby Central Valley counties such as Sacramento at 8.9 percent and San Joaquin at 12.2 percent.
Usually, Solano County has a lower rate than the neighboring Central Valley county of Yolo. Not this time. Yolo County in August had a slightest lower rate at 8.1 percent.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.