FAIRFIELD — Solano County will have to wait to see if the August drop in its unemployment rate is a fluke or a trend.
The state Employment Development Department was scheduled to release the September data on Friday. But that has changed due to the federal government partial shutdown, which delayed a federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report due Oct. 4.
“We get our data from the Bureau of Labor statistics,” said Linda Wong, a labor market consultant for the state Employment Development Department. “They give us the state data and we process it and that’s how we distribute it. If the Bureau of Labor Statistics is not working, we don’t have access to the data.”
The state Employment Development Department plans to revise its unemployment rate release schedule after the partial federal government shutdown ends. Congress on Wednesday scrambled to – and ultimately did – pass a budget deal. But Wong said a resolution to the shutdown on Wednesday wouldn’t give the state enough time to provide unemployment figures Friday.
Solano County got mixed news from August unemployment data. The unemployment rate fell, from 8.5 percent in July to 8.2 percent. But fewer residents had jobs and the lower unemployment rate came about only because the labor force also shrunk. Meanwhile, the number of jobs available within Solano County fell by 700 from July to August.
All of this made it difficult to see what trends might be emerging amid what local officials hope is an economic recovery, though troubling signs had appeared.
“It’s one month,” Wong said at the time. “Employment data does fluctuate from month to month.”
September unemployment data would make the situation more clear. But when that data might be available as of Wednesday remained uncertain.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.