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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

State Unemployment Rate Falls

L.A. County’s unemployment rate dropped to 9.5 percent in November, its lowest point in five years, according to state figures released Friday. But don’t get too excited about the numbers, down from 9.7 percent in October and 10.4 percent a year ago. The drop in the jobless rate came largely as a result of 18,000 people who gave up looking for work, thus reducing the size of the workforce, according to data from the state Employment Development Department In fact, 9,000 fewer L.A. County residents reported they were working last month despite the county creating 33,000 payroll jobs – and many of those were just seasonal retail positions. In the greater Valley region, the Antelope Valley city of Lancaster had the highest unemployment rate at 13.3 percent, down slightly from 13.4 percent in October. Nearby Palmdale was close behind at 11.8 percent, compared to 11.7 the previous month. Elsewhere, Glendale had 8.2 percent, unchanged from October; Burbank reported 7.6 percent, also unchanged; and Santa Clarita came in at 5.7 percent, an improvement over 5.8 percent in October. The city of Los Angeles reported unemployment of 10.4 percent in November compared to 10.5 percent the previous month. On the payroll jobs front, the increase of 33,000 brought total non-farm payroll jobs in L.A. County to just shy of 4 million, a level not seen in five years. The biggest gains were in seasonal retail hiring (up 19,000 jobs), followed by local government (up 4,500) and construction (up 3,800). “The continued recovery in the housing industry, and particularly the demand for multi-family housing, is helping fuel demand for construction positions,” Christopher Thornberg, principal at Beacon Economics in Century City, wrote in a report on the November job data.

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