County’s Jobless Rate Jumps to 4.7% in July

Times Staff Writer

Orange County’s unemployment rate jumped seven-tenths of a point in July, to 4.7% from 4.0% in June, largely because of the seasonal drop in the payrolls at county schools, a state analyst said.

“The numbers for July reflect school people being released for the summertime,” said Jerry Shea of the state’s Employment Development Department in Los Angeles.

State and local government employers--which include school districts--cut their payrolls by 18,400 in July, to 81,600 from 100,000 the previous month. Total unemployment in all sectors of the county’s non-agricultural work force grew by 8,400--to 56,800 jobless from 48,400 in June.

Slight decreases in employment in machinery manufacturing and aerospace were offset by gains in transportation and public utilities, construction and rubber and plastics manufacturing--leaving the decline in local school employment as the most significant factor in the jobless rate increase.


And with school about to resume, September’s unemployment rate--scheduled for release in late October--should show a corresponding increase, officials said.

Orange County boasted the lowest unemployment rate in Southern California for July, Shea said. Los Angeles County, which accounted for about a third of the state’s labor pool in July with 4.2 million workers, posted an 8.1% jobless rate; San Diego’s unemployment rate was 5.7%; Riverside’s was 9.4%; and San Bernardino’s was 6.7%.

The county also fared better in July than the state or the nation as a whole, Shea said. The state’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate was 7.1%, while the adjusted national rate was 6.9%. None of the county statistics are adjusted.