Just one day after a Defense Department decision to scrap the Sgt. York project left 1,900 jobs in limbo at Ford Aerospace & Communications Corp. facilities in Orange County, the state Employment Development Department has released even more discouraging news for local defense industry workers, including signals that yet more layoffs are on the way.
Among the bad signs in Wednesday's monthly employment review was that July's jobless rate of 4.4% was up one-tenth of a percentage point from June and marked the second consecutive monthly increase in the county's unemployment rate.
The number of jobless residents in the county rose by 2,000 during July to a total of 58,400.
Wage and salary jobs at Orange County companies declined by 13,300 between June and July and the department now projects that the number of county workers in August could dip below the 1-million mark--a benchmark number that has been exceeded for four consecutive months.
Despite the rise in unemployment, Orange County still registered the lowest jobless rate in Southern California last month. The rate for Los Angeles County rose to 8.2% in July and the seasonally adjusted rate for the state was 7.2%. Orange County's unemployment rate is not seasonally adjusted.