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The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Chico State's independent student newspaper

The Orion

Unemployment rates in Butte County drop to all time low

The Butte County unemployment rate is reaching record lows.

According to data by the Labor Market Information Division of the California Employment Development Department, the unemployment rate for September was 4.1 percent. The lowest rate for a single month since the department began releasing data in January of 1990.

Eight of the nine lowest recorded months for unemployment rate in Butte County have occurred in the last year. Prior to September 2017, the month with the least unemployed workers by percentages was October of 2006.

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The graphic shows Butte County's unemployment rate for each month over the last two years. Photo courtesy of State of California Employment Development Department Labor Market Information Division

California’s unemployment rate has been below five percent for over a year as well.

Megan Odom, director of the Career Center, believes students, in particular, will benefit from the recent statistics.

“As a nation, the unemployment rate is down, more companies are hiring, so, when students are getting ready to graduate, looking for a full time job, they’re gonna have a better time finding a position,” Odom said “It’s a good time to be graduating.”

Odom attributes the jobless rate to the current state of the economy, new businesses and the growth of small businesses.

She believes these record low statistics give students the opportunity to stay in the area after graduating from the university. Approximately only 10 percent of Chico State students stay in Chico after they graduate.

Chico alone has a multitude of companies and small businesses, including Klean Kanteen, Lulus, Enloe Medical Center, Chicobag, Chico Chai and Sierra Nevada.

Neighboring regions, Glenn and Tehama County, currently possess unemployment rates of 5.3 and 4.7 percent for September.

Students preparing to join the workforce, immediately after graduation, can use the Chico State Career Center to help with job and internship searching, cover letters, resumes and forming connections with alumni.

The Career Center has also recently integrated Handshake, a job database that helps students connect with employers and find jobs in other cities.

Alliance for Workforce Development, another resource separate from the campus, assists the unemployed or individuals looking to further themselves in their career. They offer services such as resume building, mock interviews, workshops, computer labs, career fairs and career planning. All their resources are free.

Luis Moreno, assistant director at their Chico location, has been working at Alliance for Workforce Development for over 18 years and is astounded by the results of the last few months.

“Butte County has never been below five percent, since before I was doing this,” Moreno said. “In the last few months it’s been under five percent consistently, but it’s the economy really.”

Moreno credited the nation and state as a whole for starting a domino effect for Butte County.

“The state, as whole right now, is at 3.9 percent, it’s across the state and I’m sure it’s across the country, there’s more jobs then there are people looking for work,” Moreno said.

Their office is located at 500 Cohasset Rd. Suite 30 and open Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The Alliance for Workforce Development has another office located in Oroville as well.

Yaritza Ayon can be reached at [email protected] or @ayon_yaritza on Twitter.

State of California Employment Development Department Labor Market Information Division

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