Local farm employment jumped in August as Kern's unemployment rate improved by a full point to settle at a seasonally unadjusted 7.4 percent, according to state data released Friday.
California's Employment Development Department reported 5,000 new farm jobs in the county last month, a monthly increase of 7.2 percent that represented a rise of only about a third of 1 percent year over year.
Non-farm employment was up just 1.1 percent month over month, or 2,900 jobs. As compared with August of 2018, the new total showed an increase of 2 percent.
The state's and nation's rates also improved. California's unadjusted rate in August was pegged at 4.2 percent, down from 4.5 the month before, while the national rate fell to 3.8 percent from an even 4 in July.
In Kern, local government hiring in education surged by 2,900 jobs, the EDD said. That's a monthly increase of 11.8 percent but a year-over-year decline of 1.1 percent.
The employment category of health care and social assistance showed the next-largest growth in total job creation, rising by 400 jobs, or 1 percent month over month. The increase was 6 percent greater than the sector's total employment in August of 2018.
Food manufacturing in the county registered a 200-position increase, which was up 3.6 percent from July but flat year over year.
Retail was down 300 jobs, a decline of less than 1 percent month over month but down almost 2 percent from a year earlier.
Leisure and hospitality employment was down 200 jobs from July, or less than 1 percent. The new total represented a 3 percent gain during the previous 12 months.
Meanwhile, the category labeled administrative, support and waste services added 200 jobs, an increase of 1.3 percent from July and a year-over-year jump of 6.9 percent.