Kern’s jobless rate dropped a full percentage point in April as local farming created 10,000 new positions, bringing unemployment in the county to a seasonally unadjusted 10.6 percent, the same rate as one year before.
While most other sectors remained relatively flat, agriculture expanded to 54,000 jobs, a month-over-month increase of almost 23 percent, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.
The agency said California’s unemployment rate fell as well, from a seasonally unadjusted 5.6 percent in March to 5.2 percent in April, while the federal rate declined from 5.1 percent to 4.7 percent, also unadjusted to account for seasonal variations.
The EDD’s report on Kern showed far more job classifications gaining jobs than losing them. Among the biggest gainers was the category of health care and social assistance, which posted a 400-position increase last month, or 1.2 percent. It ended up 5 percent year over year at 33,400 jobs.
Restaurants in the county hired a net 200 people in April, a 1 percent gain from March, while the classification known as trade, transportation and utilities added 200 positions, or a little less than half a percent. Financial activities also expanded by 200 jobs, or 2.3 percent, the EDD reported.
Oil and gas drilling and production declined by 200 positions, or 2.2 percent, to reach 9,100 jobs in Kern. That represents a nearly 19 percent slide from a year before.