You have permission to edit this article.

Kern's jobless rate remained at 12.4 percent in September


In this June file photo, Bakersfield Christian High School teacher Steven Chai works out a math problem for students in his class as well as virtually in his summer school ACT/SAT prep class on campus.

Kern County's unemployment rate held at a seasonally unadjusted 12.4 percent in September despite a decline in farm payrolls, California's Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The month-to-month consistency, which reflects a downward revision of August's rate, came as joblessness at the state level declined by half a point to 10.8 percent and the national rate improved to 7.7 percent from 8.5 percent in August. Those numbers were not adjusted for seasonal fluctuations.

Ag employment in the county shrank by 1,000 positions, or about 2 percent, the EDD said. Year over year the total was down more than 14 percent.

Most employment categories showed little change from August. But some fluctuated noticeably, including general merchandise stores, which lost 300 jobs, or 4.2 percent.

Local health-care and social assistance lost 500 jobs, or 1.4 percent. That classification is off by nearly 9 percent year over year.

On the other hand, the classification labeled administrative, support and waste services expanded by 300 jobs, or 2.1 percent.

Government employment was another bright spot. Locally, that employment category expanded by 2,200 positions, or 5.2 percent. The bulk of those jobs were in education.