OC Unemployment Drops to 2.7%, Lowest Since Nov. 2019

Published on May 27, 2022


(Orange County Business Journal)

Orange County’s unemployment rate fell to 2.7% in April from a revised 3.1% in March and below the 6.8% rate seen in April last year, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

It’s the lowest unemployment in Orange County since November 2019.

The state’s unemployment rate was 3.8% in April while the U.S.’s was 3.3%.

Nonfarm OC employment gained 9,400 jobs from March to April when 1.63 million were employed. OC employment was up 78,300 jobs from the same period a year ago.

The county remains below the February 2020 pre-pandemic employment level of 1.68 million jobs.

Six of the 11 industry sectors saw job increases.

For the third straight month, leading the job increase was the leisure and hospitality sector, which added 6,200; most of the increases were in accommodation and food services, up 4,600. The professional and business services sector was up 4,200 jobs.

Trade, transportation, and utilities saw the biggest decline, off 1,700, followed by construction, down 1,300.

About 17.5 million worked in California in April, an increase of 41,400 nonfarm payroll jobs from March and up about 926,000 jobs from a year earlier.

The state has now recovered 91% of the 2.76 million jobs lost in March and April of 2020 due to the pandemic.

Eight of the 11 industry sectors added jobs month-over-month, led by leisure and hospitality, up 20,100, particularly in full-service restaurants.

The largest reduction was in construction, 13,200, reflecting the impact of April rains.

People receiving unemployment benefits fell 52,895 to 345,743 in April, down from 398,638 in March.