In its fourth consecutive monthly drop, Orange County's unemployment rate dipped to 3.7% in January, a one-tenth of a point decline from December.
But unlike earlier periods, the drop in January was primarily the result of updated accounting procedures used by the California Employment Development Department, which has begun to base its employment statistics on the 1980 census instead of the 1970 census.
"It was a month of adjustments," not really a month of new jobs, said Alta Yetter-Gale, labor market analyst with the department. In fact, total jobs actually declined by 8,600 in January.
Still, the Orange County unemployment rate continued to run well below the Los Angeles rate of 6.6% and the seasonally adjusted rates of 5.8% for California and 6.7% for the United States. Orange County's unemployment rates are not seasonally adjusted.