Slight uptick in statewide unemployment, but drops in some Bay Area counties

Alameda County unemployment drops to 4.3%

The state's overall unemployment rate increased slightly last month but many Bay Area counties showed improvement, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

California Employment Development Department officials said the unemployment rate increased to 5.8 percent statewide in December, based on a monthly survey.

This represents a slightly worse figure than in November, when unemployment was 5.7 percent, according to the data. There was an estimated decrease of 10,000 Californians holding jobs since November.

But it is an improvement over December 2014, when the statewide unemployment rate was 7.1 percent. The employment total increased by 334,000 jobs since then, according to the data.

A separate survey, which department officials said is larger and less variable, indicated that nonfarm payroll jobs actually increased by 60,400 last month.

As far as the Bay Area's unemployed workers, San Mateo County still had the lowest number this December at a steady 3.1 percent.

Marin County and San Francisco did close the gap, dropping .1 percent each in the unemployment figures to 3.2 and 3.3 percent, respectively.

There was the same slight improvement in counties with a higher percentage of unemployed workers. Alameda County dropped to 4.3 percent and Contra Costa County to 4.5 percent.

But the unemployment rate in Solano County remains higher than all eight other Bay Area counties at an unchanged 5.6 percent.

Unemployment figures are taken from a federal survey of 5,500 households throughout the state.

— Bay City News Service

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