There’s been a ton of discussion in Mill Valley and across the country in recent years about how difficult it has been for businesses to keep their longtime employees and hire new ones.

In a twist, the latest insight from the California Employment Development Department indicates that Marin County’s unemployment rate has risen to 3.6%, up from 2.5% a year ago, but that continued growth in the hospitality industry – food & beverage, travel & tourism, lodging, and recreation – has fed a year-over-year increase in jobs, according to the Marin Independent Journal. From October 2022 to last month, the county gained 3,900 jobs overall, reaching 114,700, according to the California Employment Development Department. In the same time period, the leisure and hospitality industry added 2,600 jobs, the largest increase among sectors in the county, Randy Weaver, a state labor market consultant, told the IJ.

“This gain accounted for 66% of the 3,900 job addition in total wage and salary jobs,” Weaver said. “Private education and health services saw the second largest year-over increase, rising by 1,300 jobs.”

The county added 800 jobs from September to October. Private education and health services had the biggest month-to-month increase, with 400 jobs. Local government and leisure and hospitality tied for the second largest gain, both adding 200 jobs, Weaver said. “The gain in leisure and hospitality was interesting, as this is typically the time of year when this industry sheds employment as it moves out of the peak summer season,” Weaver said.

Rob Eyler, chief economist of the Marin Economic Forum, told the IJ that, “We’re still down from before the pandemic in terms of labor force and people that live in Marin County that are working. So we’re waiting to see what happens, and some of that is feeding off of what’s happening in the Bay Area more generally in terms of basically very anemic job growth.”

For broader context, while Marin’s unemployment rate is 3.6%, the numbers across California are 4.8% and 3.6% across the U.S. Mill Valley’s unemployment rate is 2.5%, while the rate in Tam Valley and Homestead Valley is 2.3%.


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