Kern County unemployment dipped to a seasonally unadjusted 9.3 percent in August, its lowest rate since November, as farmers, schools and manufacturers created new jobs.
Last month’s jobless rate represented significant improvement from July’s revised 9.9 percent and August 2014’s 9.6 percent, the state reported.
California’s unemployment rate, also stated on an adjusted basis, slid to 6.1 percent in August from a revised 6.5 percent the month before, while the national jobless rate went from 5.6 percent in July to 5.2 percent in August.
Kern’s biggest month-over-month employment change in August took place in agriculture, where farmers added 3,300 positions, a jump of 4.8 percent, according to California’s Employment Development Department.
Oil field employment was flat, leaving the industry with an even 10,000 workers in Kern, which the EDD said was 2,500, or 20 percent, fewer than it employed in August 2014.
Education workers in local government rose 5.3 percent in August, or 1,300 jobs. The result, 25,800 workers, was 9.3 percent more than were working in the field a year before.
Other sectors registered more modest changes last month. Kern manufacturing expanded by 300 jobs, or 2.1 percent, while retailers grew by 600 jobs, or 1.9 percent, the EDD reported.
Restaurants cut 300 positions, or 1.5 percent. Professional, scientific and technical services also contracted by 300 jobs, which in its case amounted to a 2.7 percent loss.
The EDD said the category that combines health care and social assistance employment grew by 1 percent in Kern, or 300 jobs.