• Workforce Development Board: March 2020 Santa Barbara County Labor Market Info

    Message from the SBCWDB Executive Director

    Today's release includes the March numbers which begins to reflect the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19). The week that contains March 12 predated many of the coronavirus-related business and school closures in the second half of month with the Stay-at-Home orders by Governor Newsom on March 19.

    The county unemployment rate for March was 5.6% versus 4.6% in February and 4.7% in March of last year. What's also interesting is California's state unemployment rate of 5.6% is the same as the county's which typically much lower than the state as a whole.

    The county workforce numbers of 215,000 are those able to work although does not include those who have stopped looking for employment. Out of the 215,000, 12,000 were unemployed last month. 

    You'll also notice that the Leisure & Hospitality industry had the largest decline specifically with the Food Services & Drinking Places. Many restaurants have tried to stay open by offering takeouts and delivery options while tasting room and breweries offer online purchases.

    Unfortunately, the unemployment numbers will reflect much higher in next month's report with approximately 1.65 million claims processed in March. In addition, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) Program is being created to help unemployed business owners, self-employed, independent contractors in California and has finally announced on their website they will begin taking applications on April 28. You will most likely see these numbers reflected in the State's unemployment report in June. 

    In the upcoming months, we will continue to report these unprecedented numbers and provide more details of the breakdown in the upcoming months. We encourage you to support our local businesses as much as possible. For businesses who are laying off or furloughing employees, please contact our Business Services Strategist, Alma Janabajab at alma@sbcwdb.org. The Business Services team, will provide you with information and resources for your business and employees during this transition and during the economic recovery. Stay informed by visiting the County's ReadySBC.org/EconomicRecovery website. 

    Labor Market Report March 2020

    Last Friday the State of California Labor Market Information Division (LMID) released its Monthly Press Release on Unemployment and Industry Sector hob growth/decline in Santa Barbara County. Highlights may be found in the images below.

    Visit the County's ReadySBC.org/EconomicRecovery website for updates and resources. Businesses can also send questions to COVIDbiz@CountyofSB.org