July 2012 data is out from the Labor Department for "metropolitan area employment" — the employment situation in the nation's cities. Los Angeles, part of an area that includes Long Beach and Santa Ana, notched an over-the-year increase from last July of 86,300 jobs, second only to the New York-New Jersey area, which added just over 90,000.
The July number is a bit less impressive than the June figure of 88,400.
The L.A. area has seen a big drop in its unemployment rate from last July, to 10.9 from 12.2, but the unemployment rate compared with June has moved up, from 10.3 percent.
Many of California's cities are still enduring unemployment that's much higher than the national rate of 8.3 percent. El Centro is at nearly 30 percent — and even that's an improvement over last July's almost 33 percent rate. For what it's worth, Napa, with a workforce of similar size, has the state's lowest unemployment rate for a metro area, at 7.7 percent.
It's hard to underestimate the severity of the unemployment crisis in California, even as the state's cities ad jobs at a nice clip. Of the seven metro regions in the U.S. with jobless rates above 15 percent, six are in the Golden State (the seventh is in Arizona).
In big cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, the recovery is clearly maintaining a positive trend. Elsewhere in the state, however, the pain is considerable and continues to be felt.