USA-ECONOMY/-1

Leaflets lie on a table at a booth at a military veterans' job fair in Carson, California, in this file photo taken October 3, 2014. U.S. private employers added 200,000 jobs in September, payrolls processor ADP said on Wednesday, the strongest reading since June. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/Files

LUCY NICHOLSON

State data released Friday show some good news for Kern County job-seekers and industries.

Kern County’s unemployment rate plummeted from 9.2 to 8.4 percent and local industry saw 1,800 more jobs from August to September, according to preliminary state data released Friday.

That’s the lowest rate since April 2007 and comes despite the loss of at least 2,000 oil jobs since last December. Kern’s unemployment rate peaked at 17.9 percent in March 2010.

The statewide unemployment rate was 5.5 percent in September, and the national rate was 4.9 percent at that time.

The data have not been seasonally adjusted to account for dips and spikes in numbers of jobs created from year to year. But that means they haven’t been as manipulated.

There were 328,500 jobs in August 2015 and 330,300 jobs in September, according to the state data.

Much of that growth happened in education, which saw 2,500 new jobs from August to September.

Rob Meszaros, spokesman for the Kern County Superintendent of Schools office, said his guess is some of that increase is due to the start of school in August as well as an increase in teaching openings at local schools.

Gov. Jerry Brown allocated more of his state budget to school districts this year, trickling down locally to allow schools to decrease class sizes by hiring more teachers.  

Meszaros said the number of credentialed substitutes is also down from the past year’s results, presumably because those substitutes have found full-time jobs in districts.

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