City unemployment experiences increase

The city of Berkeley’s unemployment rate increased to 10.5 percent in July, a 0.2 increase from the June rate, according to preliminary figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

Berkeley’s labor force in July was 58,000, of which 6,100 were unemployed, according to the department. Unemployment in Berkeley most recently peaked at 11.1 percent in July 2010.

The finalized rate for June 2011 was 10.3 — 0.6 percent up from May, when unemployment was at its lowest this year. Preliminary rates are sometimes revised a month after they are released.

Some nearby cities also saw slight increases in unemployment between June and July. Oakland’s unemployment rate increased from 16.3 percent to 16.5 percent, and Emeryville’s unemployment rate increased from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent. Other cities like Albany and Richmond saw no change in unemployment, maintaining unemployment rates of 4.7 percent and 17.6 percent respectively.

The rate for Alameda County increased as well — from 10.9 percent in June to 11 percent in July, according to the department. California’s rate increased from 12.1 percent in June to 12.4 percent in July. The national rate decreased slightly to 9.1 percent — 0.4 percent lower than the July 2010 rate, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

The July 2010 unemployment rate for Berkeley was 11.1 percent, according to the state department. Within the last year, the rate fluctuated between 9.7 percent and 11.1 percent and has followed an increasing trend in recent months.

Unemployment figures for August 2011 will be available Sept. 16.

Stephanie Baer is the city news editor.