Sacramento's unemployment rate jumped to 10.3 percent in January as the region lost thousands of jobs.
Economists said they weren't too concerned, though, because the increase from 9.7 percent unemployment in December came largely because of seasonal factors, such as stores shedding seasonal workers and construction sites idling for winter.
"Most of the decline is due to seasonality," said Heather Chamizo, a lead labor market analyst at the state Employment Development Department.
In all, the four-county Sacramento region lost 10,800 jobs in January. Many of these 3,900 were in the retail sector, and another 1,100 were in the building trades.
"Seasonal retail, layoffs in construction there's always a big spike (in January)," said Jeffrey Michael, director of the Business Forecasting Center at University of the Pacific in Stockton. "When you adjust for seasonality, it's not that bad."
The January unemployment rate was 10 percent in El Dorado County, 8.9 percent in Placer County, 10.3 percent in Sacramento County and 12.7 percent in Yolo County, according to the EDD.
Michael said the Sacramento region historically sees a 0.6 percent increase in the jobless rate in January the same rise reported for January 2013.
There were encouraging signs amid the January report, including a slight increase in the size of the labor force and in figures showing that the number of jobs in the region grew in 2012.
Overall, the Sacramento region added 11,600 jobs from January 2012 to January 2013, according to the EDD.
That included 6,000 new jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector as well as 5,600 jobs in professional and business services.
Sacramento's financial sector also added 800 jobs almost all on the strength of insurance carriers a good sign for the region, said UOP's Michael.
"That's good to see," he said. "The financial sector was one of the underreported parts of the downturn it's really the financial sector that's been hard-hit. It's an important sector for the region."
Government, a linchpin of Sacramento's economy, lost 2,200 jobs in January, including 1,900 in local government.
But Michael said the sector's toughest days are in the rearview mirror.
"Government ought to be leveling off," he said. "It won't be a source of (job) growth, but the worst is over for those sectors."
Chamizo of the EDD focused on the year-over-year job increases in the trade and the professional services sector a large sector of the economy that takes in a wide range of occupations.
Both sectors saw the sharpest month-to-month losses from December to January, but their year-over-year numbers represented the area's largest job gains.
"We're seeing year-over-year gains. That shows expansion over time," Chamizo said.
Call The Bee's Darrell Smith, (916) 321-1040.