Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 9.4 percent in October from a revised 9.9 percent in September amid a hiring surge that saw employers in the county add 41,000 payroll jobs, according to state figures.
But these added jobs were only part of the picture. According to figures from the state Employment Development Department, the size of the labor force fell by 15,000 in October to a little more than 5 million as many L.A. County residents dropped out of the workforce to return to school, care for children or family members, or wait for better job prospects.
In Ventura County, the October unemployment rate was 5.3 percent.
L.A. County’s 9.4 percent unemployment rate represents a significant improvement from a year ago, when the county’s unemployment rate was 12.4 percent reported, and it is less than half of the peak rate of 21.1 percent reached in the spring of 2020 at the maximum extent of the pandemic-related shutdown of much of the economy.
But L.A. County’s unemployment rate continued to lag progress made statewide, for which the rate stood at 7.3 percent in October. And the national unemployment rate fell to 4.6 percent, less than half the L.A. County rate.
Employers in L.A. County reported a net 41,400 more jobs on their payrolls in October than in September. The county now has regained about 465,000 jobs — or 60 percent — of the 773,000 jobs lost during the spring 2020 pandemic-induced lockdown of the economy. But it’s still roughly 308,000 jobs short of Feb. 2020 levels.
October’s gains were spread across several industry sectors, led by a jump of 14,800 jobs in public and private education. That was followed by a net gain of 8,600 jobs in professional/business services and an increase of 8,100 jobs in the retail trade sector.
No sector reported net losses in jobs in October compared to September.