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Jobless Rate among lowest in California

Placer County had a 4.0 percent unemployment rate for November, winding up in a tie with San Luis Obispo County for the third lowest rate among the state’s 58 counties.

In a report released Friday, the California Employment Development Department estimated that Placer County had 6,500 unemployed workers out of a total civilian workforce of 159,800 people last month. Placer’s 4.0 percent trailed only Orange County’s 3.7 percent and the 3.8 percent posted by Marin County. Placer’s November rate was down from the 4.1 percent it posted for October and the 4.2 percent recorded for November 2004.

California as a whole had a 5.2 percent unemployment rate for November, which was the same mark recorded the previous month. Last month, more than 17 million Californians had jobs and 939,000 workers were classified as unemployed, EDD said.

Placer County Economic Development Director Ed Graves noted that Placer broke into the top five in a ranking of the state’s counties with 4.1 percent for October. Napa and Orange counties tied for first at 3.8 percent and Marin and San Luis Obispo wound up in a tie for third at 4.0 percent.

“We’ve been gradually going from the middle of the pack to a place among the leaders,” Graves said.
He emphasized that the county’s improved rankings reflect ongoing job growth throughout the county- including business and industrial growth that has accompanied rapid population growth in South Placer.

North Tahoe also has been adding resort, restaurant and other jobs, as ski resorts expand to become year-round destination resorts and the county’s redevelopment agency works to help improve the area’s business climate, Graves said.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Labor reported that Placer County’s 4.3 percent job growth for 2003 was the best in California. Nationwide, Placer was in a sixth-place tie with Montgomery County, Texas in a ranking of the nation’s 315 largest counties.

For the 12-month period ended in March 2003, Placer County ranked first in the nation, with a job-growth rate of 4.9 percent.

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