March unemployment

Tuolumne County's unemployment rate for March was the same as California's overall rate at 8.3%, while Calaveras County's was lower at 6.3%.

More than a year after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, California and county unemployment levels have not yet dropped to pre-pandemic levels, though the rates are decreasing from months prior, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Division.

According to the documentation, Tuolumne County is still ranked 39th among 58 California counties in its unemployment rate, which was 8.3% for March, the most recent month available. The county’s labor force for that month was 19,740 people, with 18,110 employed and 1,630 unemployed.

Calaveras County, on the contrary, ranked ninth among the California counties with a 6.3% unemployment rate, a labor force of 21,280 people, 19,930 employed and 1,350 unemployed. 

Tuolumne County showed a slight drop in the unemployment rate of 9.2% in January 2021 to 8.6% from February 2021, while Calaveras County dropped from 7.0% in January 2021 and 6.6% in February 2021.

Statewide, the unemployment rate is 8.2%, down a percentage point from January 2021. 

According to an EDD press release, California gained 119,600 nonfarm payroll jobs in the last month.

Numbers provided for March of 2020, however, taken just at the start of a statewide economic shutdown instituted due to the growing fatal public health threat of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, show just how far the metric has slipped from those previous lows.

Statewide at the time, unemployment was at 5.1% while the United States was at 4.5%. Unemployment continues to fall around the country, but still remains at 6.2%.

At the time, Tuolumne County had an unemployment rate of 5.9% and 1,210 out of work. Calaveras County had a 4.9% unemployment rate with 1,060 out of work. 

Over the course of the year, both Tuolumne and Calaveras counties experienced job losses over almost all industry fields, including leisure and hospitality, information services and trade.

Tuolumne is in the orange, or moderate risk level of the state's reopening metric, which allows for some indoor business operations with modifications. There are currently 2.7 new COVID-19 cases a day and a 1.8% positivity rate, according to the state.

Tuolumne County has delivered more than 35,000 vaccine doses at this time, according to the state.

Calaveras County is in the red, or substantial risk level of the state's reopening metric. There are currently 5.5 new cases a day and a 2.7% positivity rate. Calaveras has administered more than 27,000 vaccine doses.

Contact Giuseppe Ricapito at gricapito@uniondemocrat.net or (209) 588-4526.

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