The unemployment rate in Humboldt County dropped to 2.7% in September, according to the preliminary figures released by the Employment Development Department on Friday morning. That’s well below the state’s unemployment rate of 3.5%
Local labor market analyst Randy Weaver urged caution in viewing the new numbers, although he said it is a continuation of the historic lows the county has registered in recent months.
“It’s a preliminary rate and subject to adjustment for late reporting,” Weaver said. “Typically what happens with that is it goes up slightly. … It’s important to remember there might be some adjustment on that number.”
He attributed the spike in the number of residents employed between August and September to education-related positions. He said in June and July there are drops in educational positions, many of which are returned in the fall.
“Local school districts and colleges and universities — staff comes back to there. All of the support staff … they’re basically laid off for the summer and come back in the fall,” Weaver said.
In total, about 2,100 more people were employed between August and September.
Weaver said the county is position well in terms of unemployment with a ranking of 13th among the state’s 68 counties. Typically the No. 1 spot goes to San Mateo, which according to the preliminary numbers has a rate of 1.7%. That means there is only one full percentage point between the county with the best rate and where Humboldt County stands.
In stark contrast, Imperial County, which ranks 58th in the state, has an unemployment rate of 20.7%. Weaver attributed that outlier as one with little diversity in its workforce because it’s primarily agricultural and that means seasonal work.
Among neighboring counties, Humboldt County continues to lead. Mendocino reported a 2.9% unemployment rate; Del Norte County is at 4.5%; and Trinity County is at 3.7%.
The state Employment Development Department said Friday that employers added 21,300 nonfarm payroll jobs across the state. That extended California’s record job expansion to 115 months. The state Employment Development Department said Friday that employers added 21,300 nonfarm payroll jobs. That extended California’s record job expansion to 115 months.
The Associated Press contributed to this report. Ruth Schneider can be reached at 707-441-0520.