Jobless numbers continue to drop in Inyo, Mono counties

Register Staff
Staff Writer

The unemployment rates for Inyo and Mono counties continue to drop from their pandemic peaks as businesses reopen and adjust to COVID-19 restrictions.
The August unemployment rate for Inyo County has been cut about in half since April. The unemployment rate was 7.4% in August, a drop of about 2 percent from the July rate of 9.5%. The county’s peak unemployment rate of 14% came in April after the initial coronavirus shutdowns.
Mono County continued to see a solid increase in the number of residents going back to work. In August, the county’s unemployment rate hit about 11%, down five percentage points from the July figure of 16%.
In April, Mono County saw a 29% unemployment rate, and in June the rate was still about 25%.
California’s unemployment rate also dropped from its pandemic highs. In August, the state recorded an 11.4% unemployment rate, according to the California Employment Development Department’s most recent calculations.
The August unemployment numbers were tabulated on Aug. 20 and released on September 18. The US unemployment rate dropped to 8.5% in August as more states eased COVID-related restrictions on businesses.
The latest state figures showed 610 people still unemployed in Inyo County. That’s big drop from the peak of 1,130 in April. But Inyo County’s total non-farm workforce has dropped to about 6,890, compared to a total of 7,890 in August of 2019.
In Mono County, 800 people remained unemployed, compared to 1,150 in July and a high of 1,840 in April. The county’s total non-farm workforce was 5,360 in August, compared to 7,760 in August of 2019.
The Leisure and Hospitality sector continued to lag in Mono County. Despite a solid gain in August to reach 1,750 employees, the sector is far behind its August 2019 employment total of 3,670. That translates into a loss of about 52% of the jobs in that sector in 2020.
In contrast, Inyo County’s Leisure and Hospitality sector has seen a solid rebound. In August, the sector employed 1,260 people. In August of 2019 that sector had 1,800 employees.
As in the past several months, small gains in numerous sectors pushed Inyo County’s unemployment rate down. Leisure and hospitality, retail and professional and business services all saw slightly increased employment in July.
Other sectors remained the same or dropped slightly.
California’s unemployment rate dropped to about 11.4% in August, down from 13% in July. Employers added 101,900 non-farm, payroll jobs, a slight increase from July, after that month’s initial figures were revised downward. There are now 16.5 million Californians at work, with roughly 1.3 million collecting unemployment. The Leisure and Hospitality sector continued to record the most job losses and a slow rate of rehiring laid-off workers. The state’s unemployment rate peaked in April and May at about 17%.