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Santa Maria Sun / News

The following article was posted on January 24th, 2013, in the Santa Maria Sun - Volume 13, Issue 46 [ Submit a Story ]
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 13, Issue 46

Local job market still struggling

BY KRISTINA SEWELL

The economy is turning around—or is it? A recent press release from the State Employment Development Department (EDD) showed the Santa Barbara County unemployment rate at 7.6 percent as of December 2012. According to the EDD, this is a slight increase from the November 2012 unemployment rate of 7.3 percent.

Although the county has made progress since the 8.5 percent rate in December 2011, the recent increase in unemployment can be attributed to “downward” changes in jobs—observed mostly in government and professional services areas. The EDD stated the government sector saw a loss of 800 jobs, while the professional sector is down 300 jobs.

Raymond McDonald, executive director of the Santa Barbara County Workforce Investment Board (WIB), said in a prepared statement that the loss of government jobs at the state and local levels was felt primarily in education.

As expected for the holiday shopping season, the EDD shared that the largest “month-over-month” gain in jobs was in the retail sector.

At the local level, the unemployment rate has changed very little: Recent numbers show Lompoc (13.5 percent) and Guadalupe (13.1 percent) having the highest unemployment rate, with Santa Maria following closely behind with 12 percent of the population out of work. Santa Barbara, Buellton, and Goleta reported relatively low unemployment rates.