Siskiyou's unemployment at lowest rate since 2009

Skye Kinkade

Siskiyou County’s unemployment rate dipped to its lowest rate in three years last month, to 13.5 percent.

The last time Siskiyou saw a rate of 13.5 was in October 2009, according to information released by the state’s Employment Development Department Friday morning.

Sheila Stock, Labor Market Information Consultant with the EDD, said though the news is good, Siskiyou County is still down by 230 jobs year over year.

“We would like to see that be a positive number,” Stock said. “Once the county starts increasing in year over job growth that could be a sign employers are starting to feel more confident and hire or retain employees. Month over numbers can be seasonal and tough to say that yes the county is recovering. In looking at month over numbers, government was the only sector to add jobs which is typical for this time of year.”

Unemployment rates dropped over the year because the labor force shrank from 20,200 in August of 2011 to 19,500 last month, according to the EDD.

“From July to August of 2012 the labor force increased by 180 people,” Stock explained. “This is the number of people who are looking for work with no job or have a job. In this same time period, 320 more people were employed and the number of unemployed dropped by 140 people. The decline in the number of unemployed people may be attributed to them either finding a job or dropping out of the labor force all together. When the labor force increases, the number of employed increases, and the number of unemployed decreases, the unemployment rate will go down.”

Stock continued by saying, “The number of jobs may play a role into the unemployment rate; however, some of the new jobs may be part time and a person who already has a job may pick up the new job and therefore already be counted in the labor force.”

Comparative figures

Statistics show 2,640 of Siskiyou’s 19,500 person workforce are unemployed.

The state’s unemployment rate fell slightly, from 10.9 percent in July to 10.4 percent last month, according to the EDD.

Siskiyou is now ranked 43rd out of California’s 58 counties in unemployment. Marin is at the top of the list with a rate just over six percent. At the bottom of the barrel is Imperial, with a rate of 29.9 percent.

Nearby Shasta County sits at 35, with a rate of 12.5 percent.

Nationwide, the rate improved from 8.6 percent to 8.2, nearly a point less than it was in 2011, according to the EDD.