FAIRFIELD — Solano County’s unemployment rate in March continued its 2014 trend of falling each month, if only by a little.
The March seasonally unadjusted rate was 7.9 percent, the state Employment Development Department announced Friday. That compares to 8 percent in February and 8.2 percent in January.
Typically, the unemployment falls just a little bit at this time of year, said Linda Wong of the agency.
The yearlong trend is positive. In March 2013, the county had an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent. But unemployment remains far higher than the rates in the 5-percent range before the Great Recession hit.
California’s seasonally unadjusted rate for March was 8.4 percent. The national rate was 6.8 percent.
Solano County’s 7.9 percent rate ranked 17th lowest out of California’s 58 counties. Marin County had the lowest rate in the state at 4.7 percent, followed by San Mateo County at 5 percent and San Francisco County at 5.2 percent.
Geographically, Solano County has sections in both the Bay Area and Central Valley. It is an in-between county and the same is true when it comes to its unemployment rate.
Solano County had the highest March unemployment rate among the nine Bay Area counties. The next highest Bay Area county rate was Contra Costa County’s 7 percent.
But Solano County had a lower unemployment rate when compared to its Central Valley neighbors. Sacramento County had a rate of 8.1 percent, Yolo County 10.1 percent, San Joaquin County 13.1 percent and Sutter County 17.1 percent. Colusa County had the highest rate in the state at 24.5 percent.
Among Solano County’s cities, Benicia had the lowest rate at 4.9 percent, followed by Rio Vista and Vacaville at 5.9 percent, Dixon at 6.4 percent, Suisun City at 8.2 percent, Fairfield at 8.7 percent and Vallejo at 9.8 percent.
The state data also looked at how many jobs were created within Solano County. The county in March 2014 had 127,400 jobs, 2,000 more than a year ago.
A category called trade, transportation and utilities has seen the biggest gain over the past year, adding 1,400 jobs. Of those jobs, 900 came in retail trade. Wong said trade, transportation and utilities has shown year-over-year growth for 25 consecutive months.
Construction and farming are the only categories that lost jobs over the past year. Construction shed 200 jobs and farming 100 jobs.
Reach Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.