Alameda County Unemployment Rate Begins To Drop

Maggie Fusek

ALAMEDA COUNTY, CA — The unemployment rate in Alameda County is on its way back down. After peaking at 14 percent in April, the county's unemployment rate was 13.5 percent in May, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

This compares with an unadjusted May employment rate of 16.3 percent for California and 13.3 percent for the nation.

In California, rapidly-evolving data prompted a statistical revision to a larger than initially estimated April job loss of 2.4 million and an upward-revised unemployment rate of 16.4 percent, according to the EDD.

"April’s revisions reflect unprecedented job losses never before seen in California’s history in a current data series that dates back to 1976 that are a direct result of the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic," EDD officials said.

While the state’s unemployment rate of 16.31 percent in May was slightly lower than the record high set in April, it was still far higher than the 12.3 percent it was during the height of the Great Recession in March, October and November 2010, the EDD said.

April's revised loss of 2.4 million jobs in California since March is the biggest month-over job loss in state history, far eclipsing the Great Recession’s then record-setting, month-over loss of 132,800 jobs between December 2008 and January 2009, according to the EDD.

Nine of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in May. Construction posted the largest job gain of 75,000 thanks to strength in specialty trade contractors and ongoing construction projects, while leisure and hospitality added 64,800, the second largest job gain due to growth in accommodation and food services.

Government lost 95,800 jobs — the largest drop — with state and local government jobs both experiencing substantial decreases over the month.

The agricultural industry was not far behind having lost 94,500 farm jobs since May 2019, with 18,000 of those job losses recorded just last month, bringing the state's total farm jobs to 325,600.

In Alameda County, the labor force was 801,700 in May but at least 108,000 people were still without work, according to the state's preliminary, not seasonally adjusted figures.

Looking back one year ago, Alameda County had an unemployment rate of 2.6 percent in May 2019. Heading into the coronavirus crisis, the county had an unemployment rate of 3.9 percent in March and 3 percent in February.

May Unemployment Rates By City, Community

  • Alameda city 13.5%
  • Albany 11.5%
  • Ashland 20.2%
  • Berkeley 9.2%
  • Castro Valley 12.4%
  • Cherryland 22.5%
  • Dublin 10.8%
  • Emeryville 9.8%
  • Fairview 6.8%
  • Fremont 10.6%
  • Hayward 16.2%
  • Livermore 11.8%
  • Newark 13.1%
  • Oakland 15.2%
  • Piedmont 8.2%
  • Pleasanton 9.7%
  • San Leandro 17.7%
  • San Lorenzo 14.0%
  • Sunol 12.9%
  • Union City 14.0%

Alameda was not the only county in the Bay Area with an unemployment rate higher than 13 percent.

Contra Costa County’s unemployment rate in May was 13.6 percent; Marin County had a jobless rate of 10.3 percent; and Sonoma County's May unemployment rate was 12.7 percent.

In Napa County, the unemployment rate was 14.4 percent in May; in Solano County, it was 14.2 percent; in San Francisco County, the unemployment rate was 12.6 percent; in Santa Clara County, it was 11 percent; and in San Mateo, it was 11.1 percent.

This article originally appeared on the Alameda Patch