Unemployment dips in both states to 8-month low
While California’s unemployment rate hit an eight-month low of 4.7 percent in October, El Dorado County’s jobless figures for the same month nudged up to 3.3 percent from 3.2 a month earlier, the state reported Monday.
“A lot of what we see from month to month this time of year is reflective of a fluctuating season,” said David Lyons, the state’s labor market representative. California job growth amounted to 16.3 million people employed in October.
“The demand for labor is still good,” Employment Development Department Field Manager Mike Henriques said from his Meyers office.
Still, there are two different schools of thought that require examination, private sector employment officials say.
“Sure the economy is strong in a lot of different ways, but is it really as good as it seems?” asked Deborah Bates, president of Job One Employment Resource Center in Placerville.
Bates cited a segment of unrecorded unemployed called the “discouraged worker,” those who fall off the EDD doles without jobs. “It’s near impossible for anybody to know what those numbers might be,” she said.
When considering how promising the economy is, Bates contends that employment officials should consider other factors such as the high cost of living and the growing number of working poor.
The Lake Tahoe basin, in particular, has never had the high wages or a diversity of jobs like that of an urban area. But the area known to attract workers for its quality of life boasts seasonal trends that put people to work in the winter.
Across the state line, Nevada’s jobless rate, reported after its neighboring state, went up two notches from 3.8 in August to 4 percent in September.
More telling, say Nevada’s employment officials, the number of jobs created for that month surged to 45,500 ahead of last year’s levels.
Encompassing gaming and recreation jobs, the service industries gained 21,600 positions in the state. Trade industries such as retail and wholesale picked up 11,400 from 1999. Even Nevada’s small government got in on the act, hiring on almost 5,000 more personnel in federal, state and local positions than last year.
“Every major industry registered growth except mining,” said Myla Florence, Nevada’s director of the Development of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation.
With a labor force of 23,690, Carson City County fared considerably better than the state with 2.9 percent, dropping a whole percentage point from September 1999.
For the same month, Douglas County came in with 3.6 percent unemployed from a labor force of 18,790, down from 4.3 in 1999.
Susan Wood can be reached at email@example.com or (530) 541-3880, ext. 210
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