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News Contact:
Cathy Summa-Wolfe
, Executive Director
Communications, Community Relations, and Advancement
415-485-9528

Regional Quarterly Economic Update

KENTFIELD, CA—March 13, 2014—Despite a seasonal drop in employment (2.1 percent) during the winter months, our region saw a 3.6 percent pick-up in the numbers compared to a year ago and Marin County continues to rank lowest in unemployment, according to the California Employment Development Department. The state department released the latest employment figures for January last week.

In the West Bay counties of Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo, a state-defined “metropolitan district,” the total number of jobs decreased seasonally to 1,076,400 (23,300 jobs) between December and January. In January, the unemployment rate in our three-county district was 5.1 percent, up from a revised 4.6 percent the month before. This was below the year-ago estimate of 6.4 percent. It is still lower than an unadjusted unemployment rate of 8.5 percent for California and 7 percent for the nation during the same period. Marin County had an unemployment rate of 4.7 percent. San Mateo County has a rate of 4.9 percent, and San Francisco County had 5.3 percent.

Breaking down the regional job losses, the state estimated that leisure and hospitality decreased by 6,400 jobs seasonally, most of which were losses in food services and bars. Trade, transportation, and utilities lost 6,100 jobs, with most of the cutback in department, clothing, and other stores after the end of the holiday shopping season. Professional and business services followed a typical seasonal decline in January with a 3,300-job contraction, and private educational and health services fell by 3,000 jobs, which was attributed to the winter break on campuses.

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics, which released employment figures for February last week, reported there has been little change since December. Over the year, the number of unemployed persons and the unemployment rate were down by 1.6 million and 1 percentage point, respectively. Nationally, the jobless rate for adult men was 6.4 percent; for adult women, it was 5.9 percent; and teenagers had 21.4 percent unemployment. The jobless rate for whites was 5.8 percent; for blacks, 12 percent; Hispanics, 8.1 percent; and for Asians, 6 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

This regional quarterly economic update is presented as part of College of Marin’s Strategic Plan Action Step 13.1 to communicate information from the business community to the college community.

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