Siskiyou unemployment down slightly

Skye Kinkade

Siskiyou County’s unemployment rate dropped slightly from 9.9 percent in May to 9.6 percent last month, according to information released Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department.

The majority of jobs were added in the farming; leisure and hospitality; government; and trade, transportation and utilities industries.

Smaller increases were made in the mining and logging; professional and business services; construction; financial activities; and education and health services industries.

The last time the rate was ever this low was in October 2008 when it was 8.9 percent.

A year ago, in June 2013, the rate was 11.8 percent, but the workforce was larger by 900 people, according EDD statistics. Those people left the labor force, perhaps due to retirement, relocation, or deciding to stay home to care for children or an elderly parent, said Sheila Stock, Labor Market Information Consultant for the EDD. Others may have run out of unemployment benefits and given up looking for work.

However, between May and June, 450 people entered the workforce, Stock pointed out.

“The increase... may be due to students entering the labor force looking for a summer job,” Stock said. “Also, when I look at the labor force increase of 450 and then look at the civilian employment increase of 450, it could be said that all 450 people that entered the labor force in June 2014 did so because they found a job.”

Of a labor force of 18,100 people in Siskiyou County last month, 1,740 were unemployed and searching for work, according to the EDD.

Employers with the most job advertisements were Dignity Health, Siskiyou County Office of Education, Fruit Growers Supply Company, A+ Education Center, and Scott Valley Unified School District.

The most in demand jobs were Registered Nurse, truck drivers, secondary school teachers, janitors, and tutors.

Siskiyou County is now ranked 45th out of California’s 58 counties in terms of unemployment, according to the EDD.

Nearby Shasta County ranks 38th, with a rate of 8.6 percent.

The county with the lowest jobless people is consistently Marin, where only 4 percent of the population is searching for work. Ranked 58th is Imperial County at the far southern end of the state, with an unemployment rate of 22 percent.

Statewide, California’s unemployment rate rose slightly from 7.1 to 7.3 percent, and the US rate went from 6.1 to 6.3 percent between May and June.