Year-over-year numbers show that a surge in Sacramento area construction jobs helped reduce the unemployment rate.
The data show last month's jobless rate in the four-county region was 5.8 percent, a nine-year low for the month of July.
"The last time we saw the unemployment rate as low as 5.8 percent in July was in July 2007," says Cara Welch with the state Employment Development Department which released the numbers.
She says total jobs increased by 17,700 or 1.9 percent. Construction led that growth by 5,300 jobs.
"All of the growing that we have and all the building that we're doing in the region definitely attributes to that and the arena is part of that as well," says Welch.
July's 5.8 percent jobless rate was up slightly from June. Month-over-month job losses were led by education, and Welch says that's not unusual.
"It's a normal trend in July to show that the rate increases slightly," says Welch. "That's because the schools are letting out and you see some in May and you see some let out in June. So you'll see those numbers in July as well."
July's unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in El Dorado County, 5.0 percent in Placer County, 6.0 percent in Sacramento County and 6.0 percent in Yolo County.
State Unemployment Rate Also Up
For the second straight month, the California unemployment rate grew in July, after what had been more than five-and-a-half years without an increase.
Jason Sisney at the non-partisan Legislative Analyst’s Office says it’s actually good news.
"This is a case where the stronger job market is contributing to a higher unemployment rate," says Sisney. "The unemployment rate considers those people who are actively looking for work, and the stronger job market is causing more people to come back into the labor market and to look for work."
July unemployment increased by one percentage point to 5.5 percent. At the same time, the labor force grew by 60,000.
The national unemployment rate held steady at 4.9 percent.
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