Jobless Digits

May 23, 2015

Picasso_bird_goat_dancingIn just more than week, it will be eight years since moving to Humboldt County from down on California’s Central Coast — what a trip a couple of days make.

As a recent retiree, I’ve discovered this place ain’t bad — and apparently while working it ain’t bad, either. This morning I browsed the US Census Bureau’s ‘QuickFacts‘ index and discovered us old folks (65-and-over) are nearly 15 percent of Humboldt County’s estimated 2013 population of about 135,000, well above the California state 12.5 percent average of retired amongst regular folk.
One major item we’re no longer supposedly involved with is employment — the job market is somebody’s else headache.

And for those laborious, Humboldt is way-good, according to Lost Coast Outpost: ‘If you want work, you have a pretty decent chance of finding it.’

(Illustration: Pablo Picasso’s ‘Musician, Dancer, Goat & Bird‘ found here).

In a good-detailed piece yesterday, the Outpost tagged our work-ass bottom line:

Humboldt’s preliminary January jobless rate is 5.4 percent, a fall of 0.5 percentage points from the revised March rate of 5.9 percent.
The year-over rate is 1.2 percentage points below the April 2014 rate (6.6 percent).
With the rate fall, Humboldt moved from 18th rank to 16th (from the top) among the 58 counties statewide.
Surrounding county rates include: Del Norte (8.5 percent), Siskiyou (9.2 percent), Shasta (7.7 percent), Trinity (8.8 percent), and Mendocino (5.5 percent).
San Mateo (3.2 percent) had the lowest rate and Imperial (21.2 percent) was the highest.
The comparable, not seasonally adjusted California rate is 6.1 percent and the U.S. rate is 5.1 percent.
Total Humboldt industry employment grew by 300 jobs from March to April.
The county is up 700 jobs for the year-over with five industry sectors gaining, five remaining unchanged, and two declining.

Not bad at all — even in the raw numbers, ‘…a ratio of almost exactly two people working or looking for work for every three people of working age — 67.6 percent, to be precise.’
And we’re below the state average.

Although apparently California is also experiencing a better turn-around — from yesterday’s SFGate:

California’s unemployment ­­rate fell to 6.3 percent in April from 6.5 percent in March and from 7.8 percent in April of last year, the Employment Development Department reported Friday.
That compares to a national unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in April.
In March, only five states had higher unemployment rates than California and two were tied with California at 6.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The bureau will be issue April rates for all states next week.
The state’s unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.
A separate survey of businesses revealed that nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 29,500 during the month.
Year over year, the state added 457,300 jobs, an increase of 2.9 percent.

Employment seems to be recovering — eight years ago when I made the big move, of course, life was then a bubble. And if you’d asked me in June 2007 who/what was a Sarah Palin, I’d figured it some type skin-rash ointment or salve, a thin-creamed sarahpalin lotion.
And, of course, some over age 65 do seek after employment still, but I’d say the biggest chunk of us are working to figure out how Social Security and Medicare operate, while attempting to stay alive a little longer.

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