Los Angeles County will see job growth over the next five years but it will lag the rest of the state and the nation, according to a forecast issued on Wednesday.
Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., said that the county’s annual job growth will average about 1.2 percent over the time period, behind the state at 2.2 percent and the nation at 1.8 percent.
Kleinhenz gave his forecast at the group’s annual Economic Forecast event held this year at the L.A. Hotel Downtown.
Locally, construction jobs should lead the way, with a projected five year increase of 43,000 positions, or 6.5 percent. Administrative and support service positions, and professional, scientific and technical services should also show strong increases through 2019.
“We have population growth and new household formations and that should translate into (sales of) new and existing homes,” Kleinhenz said.
In the San Fernando Valley, core employment grew by 9.1 percent last year, with education and health services adding the most jobs at 45,100. Professional and business services and leisure and hospitality industry also added significant jobs in 2013, according to the report.
As a hub of media and entertainment, the Valley will likely see job growth in that industry along with the rest of Los Angeles County. For the first seven months of this year, entertainment industry employment was up 7.2 percent, or 8,600 positions, over the same period a year earlier.
Entertainment industry job growth is expected to outpace other areas in the U.S. where film and television production takes place, Kleinhenz said.
“Those jobs are increasingly important as we see Internet companies getting more serious about having content production right here,” he added.
The report also estimates the county will add 78,000 jobs this year and 63,000 jobs next year to bring total payroll jobs to 4.25 million. That would push the county’s employment level 26,000 jobs above the previous record reached in mid-2007, wiping out the job losses from the recession.
But the unemployment rate will be significantly higher next year than it was back in 2007. In November of that year, unemployment was just 4.2 percent. The county forecast estimates the unemployment rate should average 8.2 percent this year and fall to 7.7 percent next year. Still, that’s way down from the 2010 peak of 12.8 percent.