Jobless rate dips to 4.2 percent, still ‘historically low’

1,700 jobs added between February 2018 and February 2019

Humboldt County’s unemployment rate in February was 4.2 percent, according to figures released by the Employment Development Department on Friday. (Ruth Schneider — The Times-Standard file)

Humboldt County added hundreds of jobs in February and the county’s unemployment rate dropped several points to 4.2 percent, according to data released by the state’s Employment Development Department.

The county is down from a revised 4.6 percent unemployment rate in January and remains below the state average of 4.4 percent announced Friday.

Jorge Villalobos, a labor market consultant said that February 2019 and February 2018 are “historically low.”

“Looking at last year and this year, going back to 1990, they have been the lowest unemployment rates for Humboldt County,” he said.

He added that while the unemployment rate rose marginally, there were jobs added.

“There are 1,700 more people employed compared to last February,” he said.

One of the high points for February was the addition of 200 retail jobs, part of 500 jobs added in the private service-providing sector, according to the EDD data. The other bright spot that saw a surge of job growth was in government, where there were 300 jobs added in local government, the data found.

Humboldt County remains 17th across the state in terms of unemployment rates, faring better than other local counties. Del Norte County, ranked 35th across the state, has an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent. Mendocino County is ranked 28th and has an unemployment rate of 5 percent. Trinity County is at the back of the pack, ranked 42nd of the state’s 58 counties and has an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent, nearly twice the state rate.

Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.

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