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.

Most people who have Covid-19 experience only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. Some people, especially older adults and those with underlying health problems, experience more severe illness such as pneumonia and at times, death.

The vast majority of people recover. The World Health Organization reports people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.