Officials in Sonoma and Napa counties are beginning to get an idea of the impact the North Bay fires had on the job market.
Data released by the Employment Development Department (EDD), which tracks jobs by county and industry, shows 4,487 Sonoma and 1,829 Napa county residents have filed unemployment claims as a result of last month’s wildfires. That number is expected to go up as the EDD has extended the deadline to apply for benefits until Dec. 18.
EDD spokeswoman Loree Levy says the benefits are for people who either lost their job or a significant amount of work hours as a result of the fires. She says the aid can equal up to $450 per week for 26 weeks.
“It’s valuable support that can help people at a time when there’s a huge upheaval in their lives,” she says.
Some industries in Sonoma County have experienced disproportionate job loss over the past month, EDD data show. It’s normal for some sectors in the county, such as hospitality, to experience a slow season this time of year, but the data show this year is worse than usual.