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East Bay Unemployment Rate Drops

by Dave Mills

Although the region added only 600 new jobs last month, the East Bay's unemployment dropped a half-percentage point to 6.3 percent in December.

The region's jobless rate had fallen from 7.0 to 6.8 percent in November as the East Bay added 4,900 jobs. The rate dropped by a larger margin last month even though fewer jobs were created, meaning a significant number of unemployed people probably stopped searching for work.

The California Employment Development Department said the jobless rate in Contra Costa County was 6.4 percent last month while it was 6.3 percent in Alameda County.

Concord's unemployment rate was 6.9 percent of the labor force, which included  70,900 people.

The town with the highest jobless rate in Contra Costa County was Knightsen at 13.9 percent followed by San Pablo and Crockett at 13.1 percent.

The town with the lowest unemployment rate in the county was Clayton at 1.5 percent followed by Kensington at 2.2 percent and Lafayette and Alamo at 2.3 percent.

State officials said the East Bay added 2,700 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, more than half of that total coming in retail trade.

Private education and health services added 1,000 jobs. The financing sector added 300 jobs while manufacturing had 200 more jobs.

However, the construction industry lost 1,600 jobs and government agencies shed 900 jobs.

Special services lost 500 jobs while 200 jobs were lost in business and professional services as well as in leisure and hospitality.
Louise B. January 24, 2014 at 08:59 PM
As noted in the article, the rate is down because many have stopped looking for jobs. There's no way (yet) to count these people. Since disability claims have skyrockted during the past few years, that is definitely one "haven" that has been used to support people. Unfortunately, it will affect the Social Security system down the road as will the fact that less taxes are being paid into Social Security because less people are working.

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