Fourth Consecutive Month of Rapid Leisure and Hospitality Employment Growth

by Brian Thomas | Sep 22, 2015

August employment data was released last Friday from the California EDD.  Employment typically declines each August, with average declines of about 0.5% since 1990.  This annual decline is typically due to declines in the farm sector, which declines on average by 4.7% each August.  This year, total employment for all industries declined less than normal, with a decline of 0.1% or 200 jobs in August.  Because of this better than typical performance, the August seasonally adjusted civilian employment level increased by 282 jobs (or 0.1 %). 



The unemployment rate held steady in August at 4.9%.  Throughout the county, each city had a slight decline in the unemployment rate, with Buellton seeing the smallest decline (0.03%) and Solvang seeing the largest decline (0.1%).  Employment levels also improved during August, with every city in the county experiencing employment gains.  Goleta and Santa Maria had the largest percentage increases in employment, with each growing about 0.3% in August. 


Across industries, the staggering increase in leisure and hospitality employment has continued, increasing by a seasonally adjusted 1.9% in August alone.  The increase in this industry’s employment over the past year is now 10.1%, leading all other industries.  Most industries increased employment in August, with educational and health services, professional and business services, retail trade, and total farm being the only 2-digit industries to decline.