Less than half the jobs lost in the pandemic in Los Angeles County have been recovered, and the pace of hiring slowed in June, at least by one metric, the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. reported Monday in its economic briefing.“Job recovery remains modest and preliminary state data for June employment gains are surprisingly lower than the trend for the prior three months, despite the full reopening which took place on June 15,” Bill Allen, chief executive of the LAEDC, said in the meeting.“So now, more than one year since the depths of the job losses during the spring of 2020, when we lost more than 772,000 jobs here in L.A. County, we have still only recovered less than half of those total jobs lost to the pandemic.”Overall consumer spending in the county is up, though spending at small businesses remains depressed, according to the report. Job postings, while increased compared to last year, dipped slightly in the last month and unemployment in the county remains at 10.5 percent.
“If we look at year-over-year employment trends, we see the hardest hit industries are trending upward, but still have quite a way to go before they reach pre-pandemic employment levels,” Alexander Specht, an economist for the LAEDC, said in the meeting.Different industries are recovering at vastly different rates, Specht said, with higher-earning jobs experiencing less overall impact and faster recovery. Financial and business services are approaching pre-pandemic levels, in part because these jobs were able to pivot to remote working during the worst of the business impacts.
The motion picture and sound industry has recovered approximately 20 percent of jobs lost to the pandemic and, while leisure and hospitality employment has slowly increased, rates remain 45 percent lower than in January of 2020.
“We are not done with the recovery and reinvention of our regional economy,” Allen said. “We have a long way to go.”