Over the past year, Siskiyou County’s unemployment rate dropped more than three and a half percent, to one of the lowest rates since November, 2009, and for the first time since 2007, the county added new jobs.

Over the past year, Siskiyou County’s unemployment rate dropped more than three and a half percent, to one of the lowest rates since November, 2009, and for the first time since 2007, the county added new jobs.

Unemployment did rise an infinitesimal amount to 15.4 percent in October, up from September’s 15.3 percent, according to statistics released last week by the Employment Development Department.
In a year over year comparison, the rate dropped more than 3.5 percent from October 2010’s rate of 16.1 percent.

September’s rate of 15.3 percent was the lowest since November 2009, when the rate was 15 percent, according to Sheila Stock, Labor Market Information Consultant with the EDD.

Over the past year, 140 jobs were added in Siskiyou County, Stock said.

“The last time Siskiyou County saw year over year job increases was from Oct. 2006 to Oct. 2007, when the county added 30 jobs,” Stock said.

In comparison, between Oct. 2008 and Oct. 2009, Siskiyou County reported a 430 job loss. From Oct. 2009 to Oct. 2010, the county shed 1,230 jobs, said Stock.

Siskiyou County’s jobless rate in October 2007, prior to the recession, was 6.8 percent.

“The recovery has been slow and uneven,” Stock said. “To say these statistics show recovery is premature... We’d need to see several months in a trendline to indicate solid recovery.”

However, seeing an increase in jobs is “a positive sign,” Stock said, especially because numbers are close to 2009 levels, when the recession was at its peak.

“It’s going to take a while before we hit pre-recession numbers, if ever,” said Stock.

Recovery will most likely first be seen in national unemployment rate improvement, said Stock.
That recovery will slowly feed into the states – particularly the larger counties in California – before Siskiyou and other northstate counties see marked improvement, she said.

“We were the last to feel [the recession] and we’ll be the last to recover,” Stock said.

Comparative figures
Statistics show 2,890 of the county’s 18,750 person workforce were out of work last month, according to the EDD.

The state's jobless rate fell 0.2 percent last month to 11.2 percent. This is still the second highest in the nation, behind only Nevada (13.4 percent) which has had the highest unemployment rate for 17 months straight, according to the US Labor Department Tuesday morning.

Mississippi and Michigan had the next highest rates, both at 10.6 percent.

North Dakota reported the nation's lowest unemployment rate, at 3.5 percent. It was followed by Nebraska, at 4.2 percent.

Unemployment rates fell in three quarters of US states last month, a sign that many parts of the country are experiencing modest job gains, according to the Labor Department.

Unemployment rates fell in 36 states in October and rose in only five, according to the Labor Department. Rates were unchanged in nine states. That's the best showing since April, when rates fell in 39 states.

Siskiyou County is now ranked 49 out of California’s 58 counties, with Imperial County at the bottom of the barrel with nearly 30 percent of the workforce unemployed. Marin, as usual, tops the list with 7.2 percent unemployment, the EDD reported.

Nearby Shasta County’s unemployment fell for the fourth straight month to 13.2 percent for a rank of 37.

Stock said Shasta County was also hit hard between 2009 and 2010, shedding 3,700 jobs, and over the past year, 3,000 long term jobs were added in the county.