O.C. Jobless Rate Rose to 6.6% in June, a .5% Increase From May : Unemployment: Analysts say businesses are reluctant to beef up work forces while the downturn continues. With school out, vacationing teachers also added to the higher summer figure.
In another sign of stubborn economic malaise, Orange County’s unemployment rate rose to 6.6% in June from 6.1% a month earlier, according to a report released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.
The figures show 90,400 Orange County residents were out of work during June, 6,100 people more than in May. In June, 1992, the jobless rate was 6.7%, when 92,500 people were out of work, the EDD reported.
“We’re obviously not creating jobs as fast as we’d like to,” said Esmael Adibi, director of the Center for Economic Research at Chapman University in Orange. “The local economy does not have enough strength to help the various sectors of the economy. Only the national recovery will help.”
Adibi said that Orange County’s employers will probably begin hiring when national and international demand for products begins to rise. In June, the national jobless rate was 7.1%, while California’s was at 9.4%.
“Employers are meeting demand with free-lancers and overtime pay for existing employees instead of adding new employees,” Adibi said.
Eleanor Jordan, labor market analyst for the EDD’s Anaheim office, said the increase in June was typical for the summer because schools shut down and add vacationing teachers to the list of those without work. That was balanced by a small gain of 1,100 retail jobs last month, as merchants hired people at the start of the summer tourist season.
Orange County lost 18,100 jobs since June, 1992, across most industries except for slight gains in transportation and public utilities, which rose 800 to 36,100 workers, and in service industries, which rose 3,400 jobs to 323,600.
The greatest job losses were in construction, manufacturing, retail trade and wholesale trade. Within manufacturing, the high-tech industry cut 4,700 jobs to 67,600 in the past year.
Overall, the labor force in Orange County fell 12,200 to 1.37 million in the past 12 months. This figure does not include county residents who have given up looking for work.
Jobless Rate Up
Unemployment in Orange County jumped from 6.1% in May to 6.6% in June. The rate is still well below the state average of 9.4%.
Source: California Employment Development Department