Category Archives: Economy

Solano jobless rate in May: a little better than April, much worse than 2019

A combine harvester makes its way through a wheat field in Suisun Valley, Friday, June 19, 2020. Solano County added 200 farm jobs in May, according to the state Employment Development Department. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Unemployment drops in May; 20,000 fewer Solano jobs than 2019

Fairfield Daily Republic, By Todd R. Hansen, June 20, 2020

FAIRFIELD — Solano County is slowly waking up from a hard Covid-19 sleep as unemployment fell from 15.2% in April to 14.2% in May, the Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The number of local jobs climbed to 125,400, a gain of 1,800 over April’s figure, the Labor Market Division of the EDD reported.

However, compared to May 2019, there are 20,200 fewer local jobs, the EDD reported.

One of the more promising figures was that construction added 1,000 jobs since April, now 12,400, though it is down 400 jobs compared to May 2019.

Restaurants also added 1,000 positions, to 8,000. The farm sector added 200 jobs, to 1,500.

The harder reality is being felt in retail, which dropped another 200 jobs to 14,000, the EDD reported.

The civilian labor force in Solano County was reported at 199,800, down from April’s total of 201,500. However, the number of residents employed went up 200 to 171,300, the EDD reported.

The number of residents seeking unemployment benefits in May was 28,400, which is 2,000 fewer than in April.

The state unemployment rate in May was 15.9%, down from 16.2% in April. The rate in May 2019 was 3.6%.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 13%, down from 14.4%. The jobless rate in May 2019 was 3.4%.

Unemployment numbers in Solano County, the state and across the nation saw these improvements as counties across the country began to lift business closures put in place in March to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

Those businesses in Solano County that reopen must maintain health, safety, sanitation and social-distancing protocols designed to slow the spread of the virus. Residents must also comply with an order this week from the governor to wear face coverings in public spaces, businesses and offices – both indoors and outdoors – based on criteria established by the state. Continue reading Solano jobless rate in May: a little better than April, much worse than 2019

City of Benicia offers more money to local businesses to avoid layoffs

[Editor: Seems to me that SMALL BUSINESSES need to APPLY FOR A GRANT FAST!  Grants are available to companies with up to 500 employees, and guess who has staff & resources to crank out applications in a hurry….?  Note that Sole Proprietors are also eligible.  – R.S.]

City of Benicia Announces Benicia Layoff Aversion Fund Grant, Round 2

The City of Benicia Economic Development Division is please to announce the second round of funding to help Benicia businesses avoid layoffs. Applications are being accepted June 1 – June 8.  Details are available:

Solano County approved for immediate opening of retail stores, shopping malls, swap meets, and restaurants

Solano County expands reopening: dine-in restaurants, shopping malls OK’d by state

San Francisco Chronicle, Matt Kawahara May 20, 2020
Dr. Bela Matyas, Publie Health Officer for Solano County Health and Social Services, answers a question during a press conference in Fairfield, Calif., on Thursday, February 27, 2020.
Dr. Bela Matyas, Publie Health Officer for Solano County Health and Social Services, answers a question during a press conference in Fairfield, Calif., on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Photo: Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle

Solano County has received state approval to move ahead with reopening, allowing dine-in restaurants, schools and other businesses to resume operations.

The California Department of Public Health endorsed Solano County’s variance report on Wednesday night, county officials said, making it the second Bay Area county allowed to advance further into stage two of the state’s plan to reopen from coronavirus restrictions. Napa County is the only other Bay Area county to also have this approval.

Retail stores, including shopping malls and swap meets, and restaurants will be able to open immediately with appropriate health guidelines in place, per the county’s attestation report. Schools “will open later in summer or fall once guidance is developed,” the report states.

Businesses such as salons, gyms, fitness studios and clubs remain prohibited in stage two of California’s plan.

Businesses that reopen must follow social distancing requirements in the county and state’s health orders and comply with sector-specific guidance, Solano County officials said.

Solano County submitted a revised report to the public health department on Wednesday outlining its readiness under state criteria for expanded reopening.

The county’s COVID-19 hospitalization rate, positive case rate, testing and hospital capacities meet state requirements, health officer Bela T. Matyas wrote in the report. The county will continue tracking epidemiological data and could retighten restrictions if its case rate increases sharply or infections in health care workers rise for an extended period, the report states.

“As we move to advance more quickly through Stage 2, we will continue to monitor the situation, and our top priority will always remain the health and safety of Solano County residents,” Matyas said in a statement earlier Wednesday after the report was submitted.

County officials said they still encourage residents to maintain distance of six feet from other people in public, wear a cloth face mask outside the home when unable to maintain distance and stay home if feeling unwell.

As of Wednesday, Solano County had confirmed 435 total cases of the coronavirus, including 43 active cases, and 18 deaths. Of the deaths, the county had reported 11 in the last 10 days.

State health officials have now received paperwork from 39 of 58 counties seeking approval to advance more quickly with reopening, according to the public health department website.

Solano County asks for quicker reopening of stores, shopping malls, swapmeets, dine-in restaurants and schools

By Roger Straw, May 21, 2020
Potential future COVID-19 deaths if social distancing is relaxed too early [Michigan Medicine]
Solano County resubmitted it’s “Variance Attestation” yesterday, May 20, and State officials approved it on the same day.  Talk about quick!  Seems our County and State officials aren’t too worried about the inevitable new illnesses and deaths on the back half of our downward curve.

The variance attestation itself seems not to be available on the County’s website.  I will post it here if/when I can get it.

Below is the County’s press statement, released before the approval was granted.  For news on the State’s approval, see Solano County approved for immediate opening of retail stores, shopping malls, swap meets, and restaurants.


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 20, 2020
News Contact: Matthew Davis, Senior Management Analyst and Public Communications Officer (707) 784-6111 MADavis@SolanoCounty.com

County resubmits COVID-19 attestation documentation to the State, looks to advance more quickly through Stage 2

SOLANO COUNTY – County officials are pleased to announce they have resubmitted COVID-19 County Variance Attestation paperwork to the California Department of Public Health, and are confident the County meets the criteria necessary for advancing more quickly through Stage 2 of the Governor’s order.

Counties with California Department of Public Health (CDPH) approved variance attestation plans for modification are permitted move more quickly through Stage 2 of the Governor’s Stay-at-Home public health order, including the safe reopening of destination retail stores like shopping malls and swap-meets, dine-in restaurants and schools – all with social distancing modifications.

“We believe that we are ready for this next step in the recovery process and look forward to expanding opportunities for our public and business communities,” says Erin Hannigan, District 1 Supervisor and Chairwoman of the Solano County Board of Supervisors. “Thank you to all of the County staff who worked on the attestation variance application process and for helping keep our community safe.”

To be approved to advance through Stage 2, either more quickly or in a different order, a county must attest they are ready to meet specific criteria, including stability of the disease rate in the community, protection of Stage 1 essential workers and vulnerable populations, have adequate testing, containment and hospital capacity and a COVID-19 containment plan.

“The state’s revised application for variance attestation was lengthy, and, based on their new criteria, we are confident we will be given CDPH approval,” says Bela T. Matyas, M.D., M.P.H, Solano County Public Health Officer. “As we move to advance more quickly through Stage 2 we will continue to monitor the situation, and our top priority will always remain the health and safety of Solano County residents.”

As Solano County moves to relax its Stay-at-Home health order, we encourage all residents to continue to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, California Department of Public Health and Solano County Public Health social distancing best practices, including wearing a cloth face mask outside your home whenever physical distancing cannot be maintained, maintaining a physical distance of six-feet from others, practicing coughing and sneezing etiquette, using a hand sanitizer or washing your hands for at least 20-seconds and to stay at home if you’re not feeling well. Businesses that are permitted to reopen must abide by the social distancing requirements in the County’s and State’s Orders.

For more information about Solano County’s Roadmap to Recovery, social distancing protocol and frequently asked questions about the phased reopening, visit the Solano County website at www.SolanoCounty.com/COVID19 and on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/SolanoCountyPH.