While the national economy is showing increasing signs of growth, the direction of employment in Orange County headed the opposite direction in January, according to the latest figures from the state Department of Employment Development.
Joblessness in the county went from 6.8 percent in December to 7.1 percent in January. The county lost a total of 28,000 jobs, although 30,600 new jobs have been created over the previous 12 months.
Much of the softness in the labor market came in the trade, transportation and utilities fields (a loss of 6,600, mostly in retail sales) and leisure and hospitality (down 5,700 jobs). The end of the holiday shopping season is blamed for much of the decline.
In Garden Grove, the rate went from 8.5 percent to 8.9 percent. In Westminster it rose from 7.5 to 7.9 percent, while Stanton’s number rose from 11 to 11.5 percent.
The estimates of unemployment are not firm counts, such as in a census, but statistical projections based on past economic patterns.
Rates for other nearby cities include:
• Anaheim: 9.1 percent.
• Cypress: 7.5 percent.
• Fountain Valley: 5.9 percent.
• Huntington Beach: 5.8 percent.
• Orange: 6.5 percent.
• Santa Ana: 11.3 percent.
• Seal Beach: 5.2 percent.