The county's jobless rate fell to 5.0 percent in May, down from 5.3 percent in April and 6.5 percent a year ago, the state
The local economy created 3,400 jobs between April and May as employers expanded their payrolls for the fourth straight month. Since the beginning of the year, the economy has added 8,300 wage and salary jobs, increasing industry employment to 197,100, the most since
"Business owners are now sticking their heads out of their foxholes and expanding," said
The local economy has nearly regained all the jobs it lost during the Great Recession, which began in late 2007 when the housing bubble burst and financial markets crashed. Nearly one in seven workers in
Though it started slowly, the economic recovery has now created 26,100 jobs in
"The broad trend indicates there is significant hiring going on," said
It's good news for job-seekers. But it could create an imbalance as the number of open positions exceeds the pool of qualified candidates, Stone said.
If that happens, companies seeking to expand may look elsewhere, he said.
"The challenge now is having enough adequately trained workers for what employers need," Stone said.
The government sector had the largest gain over the past year, with 4,500 new jobs. The figure includes 2,000 new workers who work for special districts and local Indian tribes. Most of those new jobs were created by the November opening of the
Professional and business services added 1,500 jobs over the past year, while the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 900 jobs. Manufacturing and construction also saw big increases.
"Now we have a backlog, which is a word we haven't used in four to five years," Murphy said.
"Sonic is growing faster than it's ever grown before," Jasper said.
Areas within the county with the lowest unemployment rate were
The state estimated there were 13,100 unemployed job-seekers in
The overall drop in unemployment was mirrored across the
The recovery has been slower to take hold in
Statewide, unemployment dropped to 7.6 percent in May as
The figures come a month after the state's unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in six years, 7.8 percent. The jobless rate remains above the national average of 6.3 percent.
More than 1.4 million Californians were out of work in May, a drop of a quarter-million people over the last year. Unemployment figures do not include people who stopped looking for work.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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