For comparison, the county’s unemployment rate in April of 2019 was 7.2%, according to information released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

Like every other county in California, Siskiyou saw unemployment skyrocket between February and April to 15.8% last month as a direct result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For comparison, the county’s unemployment rate in April of 2019 was 7.2%, according to information released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

Of the county’s workforce of 13,960, 2,630 were unemployed last month. Although most employment sectors lost jobs due to the pandemic, there are a few bright spots in Siskiyou County that weren’t as affected because they were deemed essential during the stay-at-home order. These include the farming industry, which stayed relatively steady between April of 2019 and April of 2020. Also remaining steady were the mining and logging industries, as well as government (federal, state and local).

Hardest hit was the leisure and hospitality industry in a county where tourism is the engine of the economy. Between April of last year and April of 2020, 440 jobs were lost in this sector, the EDD reported.

Siskiyou County is now ranked 34th in terms of unemployment among California’s 58 counties. Imperial County, which is often ranked at or near the bottom, is now seeing 28% unemployment, the EDD reported. Marin County, which generally lands somewhere near the top of the list, has slipped to 11.1% unemployment.

Record high in California

California’s unemployment rate rose to a record high 15.5 percent in April as the state’s employers lost 2,344,700 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to the EDD. The unprecedented job losses are like nothing before seen in California history in a current data series that dates back to 1976, and are a direct result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

California payroll jobs totaled 15,049,300 in April 2020, down 2,344,700 from March 2020 and down 2,324,000 from April of last year. The California unemployment rate was 15.5 percent in April 2020, up from March 2020’s rate of 5.5 percent.

California’s labor market, by the numbers

• The state’s unemployment rate spiked an unprecedented 10 percent in April to 15.5 percent1, eclipsing the previous record high rate in the current data series of 12.3 percent at the height of the Great Recession (March, October, and November of 2010).

• California’s month-over non-farm payroll job loss of 2,344,7002 for April is the largest on record. And in just one month, that total is over one million more than the job loss during the 2 and a half year long recession (-1,318,400 from July 2007 – February 2010).

• The number of unemployed Californians rose to almost 2.9 million over just two months, surpassing the previous 2.2 million peak during the recession that took more than two years to reach.

• Every one of California’s 11 industry sectors lost jobs in April. The Leisure & Hospitality industry posted the largest job loss (-866,200), which was more than double that of Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (-388,700), the state’s second-largest industry sector loss. Mining & Logging (-500) posted the smallest job loss.