Unemployment rates, while significantly lower than the alarming pandemic peak of 14.7% experienced in April 2020, remain a subject of concern, notably as economic experts bandy around the idea of a potential recession by 2023. The last economic recession—the Great Recession of 2008-2010—sent rates up to 10% as of October 2009. It was not until the spring of 2019 that unemployment finally went down to the same level it sits at now.

As of August of this year, national unemployment is at 3.7%, 0.1% higher than in May, marking a three-month stagnation—following a steady drop since that aforementioned COVID-affected peak. Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates by state demonstrate a rather sizable spectrum, ranging from just 1.8% in Minnesota, to 4.5% in New Mexico and 5.2% in the District of Columbia. Further breakdown by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows yet another county-based spectrum within each state.

To that end, Stacker compiled a list of counties with the highest unemployment rate in California using data from the BLS. Counties are ranked by unemployment rate in July 2022, which as of this writing is the most current Bureau data.

Craig Howell // Wikimedia Commons

#58. San Mateo County

– Current Unemployment rate: 1.9%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.0%
-Total Labor Force: 456,081 (8,882 unemployed)

Kglavin // Wikimedia Commons

#57. Marin County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.6%
-Total Labor Force: 131,188 (2,801 unemployed)

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#56. San Francisco

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 576,449 (12,220 unemployed)

Uladzik Kryhin // Shutterstock

#55. Santa Clara County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
-Total Labor Force: 1,052,942 (22,435 unemployed)

Doug Olson // Wikimedia Commons

#54. Placer County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.5%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
-Total Labor Force: 192,739 (4,858 unemployed)

Basar // Wikicommons

#53. San Luis Obispo County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.5%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.0%
-Total Labor Force: 137,549 (3,479 unemployed)

Stan Shebs // Wikicommons

#52. Napa County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.6%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 70,628 (1,836 unemployed)

Fred Hsu // Wikicommons

#51. Sonoma County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.6%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.1%
-Total Labor Force: 249,502 (6,428 unemployed)

DimiTalen // Wikimedia Commons

#50. El Dorado County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.7%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.2%
-Total Labor Force: 92,759 (2,539 unemployed)

Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#49. Nevada County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.7%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.0%
-Total Labor Force: 48,491 (1,331 unemployed)

Hollywood // Wikimedia Commons

#48. Orange County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.8%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.6%
-Total Labor Force: 1,595,122 (44,292 unemployed)

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#47. Santa Barbara County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.8%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
-Total Labor Force: 222,456 (6,177 unemployed)

Jennifer Williams // Wikimedia Commons

#46. Alameda County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.9%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.6%
-Total Labor Force: 828,938 (23,775 unemployed)

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#45. Sierra County

– Current Unemployment rate: 2.9%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.4%
-Total Labor Force: 1,391 (41 unemployed)

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#44. Calaveras County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.0%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
-Total Labor Force: 22,044 (654 unemployed)

Chuck Abbe // Wikimedia Commons

#43. Inyo County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.0%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.0%
-Total Labor Force: 8,359 (250 unemployed)

MARELBU // Wikimedia Commons

#42. Contra Costa County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.7%
-Total Labor Force: 553,792 (17,162 unemployed)

clr_flickr from Rocklin, USA // Wikimedia Commons

#41. Mono County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.4%
-Total Labor Force: 9,079 (277 unemployed)

SD Dirk // Flickr

#40. San Diego County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.8%
-Total Labor Force: 1,576,568 (48,918 unemployed)

Binksternet // Wikimedia Commons

#39. Mendocino County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.2%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.1%
-Total Labor Force: 37,866 (1,225 unemployed)

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#38. Ventura County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.2%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 409,179 (12,965 unemployed)

Epolk // Wikimedia Commons

#37. Yolo County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.2%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
-Total Labor Force: 109,605 (3,546 unemployed)

Cory Maylett // Wikimedia Commons

#36. Humboldt County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.4%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 58,979 (1,989 unemployed)

Finetooth // Wikimedia Commons

#35. Lassen County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.5%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.6%
-Total Labor Force: 8,911 (311 unemployed)

Almonroth // Wikimedia Commons

#34. Trinity County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.5%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -2.3%
-Total Labor Force: 4,561 (159 unemployed)

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#33. Sacramento County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.6%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.8%
-Total Labor Force: 724,873 (25,831 unemployed)

Bobak Ha’Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#32. Amador County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.7%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 14,468 (536 unemployed)

EPoelzl // Wikimedia Commons

#31. Mariposa County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.7%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 7,503 (277 unemployed)

Aaronbrick // Wikicommons

#30. Santa Cruz County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.7%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
-Total Labor Force: 137,639 (5,034 unemployed)

Scott Burley // Wikimedia Commons

#29. Modoc County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.8%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -2.7%
-Total Labor Force: 3,268 (124 unemployed)

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#28. San Bernardino County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -4.1%
-Total Labor Force: 1,012,034 (39,650 unemployed)

Doug Kerr // Wikicommons

#27. Shasta County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 72,585 (2,840 unemployed)

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#26. Solano County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.9%
-Total Labor Force: 201,166 (7,860 unemployed)

Bobak Ha’Eri // Wikimedia Commons

#25. Tuolumne County

– Current Unemployment rate: 3.9%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.5%
-Total Labor Force: 20,070 (782 unemployed)

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#24. Butte County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.0%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.3%
-Total Labor Force: 90,309 (3,576 unemployed)

Daniel Orth // Flickr

#23. Riverside County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.0%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -4.0%
-Total Labor Force: 1,157,439 (45,847 unemployed)

Michael Patrick // Wikimedia Commons

#22. San Benito County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.1%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.0%
-Total Labor Force: 33,135 (1,343 unemployed)

CFang // Wikimedia Commons

#21. Lake County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.2%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.5%
-Total Labor Force: 28,684 (1,218 unemployed)

Calilover // Wikimedia Commons

#20. Monterey County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -2.8%
-Total Labor Force: 221,768 (9,479 unemployed)

Frank Schulenburg // Wikimedia Commons

#19. Tehama County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.3%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -3.4%
-Total Labor Force: 25,799 (1,097 unemployed)

Chmee2 // Wikimedia Commons

#18. Siskiyou County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.4%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -3.5%
-Total Labor Force: 16,913 (747 unemployed)

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#17. Del Norte County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.6%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.2%
-Total Labor Force: 9,197 (426 unemployed)

Trance addict // Wikimedia Commons

#16. Glenn County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.7%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -2.7%
-Total Labor Force: 12,732 (593 unemployed)

Kenneth Green // Wikimedia Commons

#15. Plumas County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.7%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.1%
-Total Labor Force: 7,950 (375 unemployed)

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District // Wikimedia Commons

#14. Yuba County

– Current Unemployment rate: 4.9%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -4.0%
-Total Labor Force: 31,138 (1,538 unemployed)

BDS2006 // Wikimedia

#13. Los Angeles County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.0%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -4.6%
-Total Labor Force: 4,974,643 (250,564 unemployed)

LPS.1 // Wikicommons

#12. San Joaquin County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.0%
— 1 month change: 0.0%
— 1 year change: -4.2%
-Total Labor Force: 334,365 (16,574 unemployed)

Public Domain

#11. Stanislaus County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.0%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -3.7%
-Total Labor Force: 242,020 (12,111 unemployed)

Susan Popielaski // Wikimedia Commons

#10. Alpine County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.2%
— 1 month change: -0.6%
— 1 year change: -4.1%
-Total Labor Force: 462 (24 unemployed)

Ray Bouknight // Wikicommons

#9. Sutter County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.4%
— 1 month change: -0.5%
— 1 year change: -3.5%
-Total Labor Force: 46,766 (2,534 unemployed)

David Jordan // Wikicommons

#8. Fresno County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.6%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -3.8%
-Total Labor Force: 455,871 (25,679 unemployed)

Public Domain

#7. Madera County

– Current Unemployment rate: 5.6%
— 1 month change: -0.1%
— 1 year change: -3.7%
-Total Labor Force: 61,946 (3,450 unemployed)

Armona // Wikicommons

#6. Kings County

– Current Unemployment rate: 6.1%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -3.7%
-Total Labor Force: 56,168 (3,439 unemployed)

nickchapman // Wikicommons

#5. Kern County

– Current Unemployment rate: 6.6%
— 1 month change: -0.2%
— 1 year change: -4.0%
-Total Labor Force: 384,503 (25,252 unemployed)

Mark Miller // Wikimedia Commons

#4. Merced County

– Current Unemployment rate: 6.7%
— 1 month change: -0.3%
— 1 year change: -4.0%
-Total Labor Force: 116,662 (7,771 unemployed)

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#3. Tulare County

– Current Unemployment rate: 7.6%
— 1 month change: +0.2%
— 1 year change: -3.6%
-Total Labor Force: 200,876 (15,186 unemployed)

CleanWater17 // Wikimedia Commons

#2. Colusa County

– Current Unemployment rate: 7.9%
— 1 month change: -0.8%
— 1 year change: -2.9%
-Total Labor Force: 11,302 (896 unemployed)

Rman 348 // Wikimedia Commons

#1. Imperial County

– Current Unemployment rate: 14.2%
— 1 month change: +0.9%
— 1 year change: -5.7%
-Total Labor Force: 67,706 (9,581 unemployed)