The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

Unemployment rate declines in Southern California

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51787 full

California’s unemployment rate dropped to 9 percent last month, which analysts say is a sign that the economy is steadily improving. It's the state's lowest unemployment since November 2008

Just a year ago, the unemployment rate was 10.7 percent. 

“It’s great to be able to report that we are able to make such progress in the unemployment rate,” said Robert Kleinhenz, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Why is the state’s unemployment rate declining?

Last month, California employers added 293,100 jobs, an increase of 1.9 percent, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics. The industries with the highest gains by number of jobs were in professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and education and health services.

There are also fewer people looking for jobs. The civilian labor force in California has dropped by 139,000 people compared to a year ago, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics.

 “There are large numbers of people who have totally given up looking for work,” said Alec Levenson, a labor economist at University of Southern California. “That’s a concern for us as a society.”

What is the April unemployment rate in LA County’s largest cities?

Source: Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

                                                April 2013                             December 2012

Los Angeles                         10.3 percent                          11.3 percent

Long Beach                         10.2 percent                          11.2 percent

Glendale                                8.1 percent                            8.9 percent

Santa Clarita                         5.7 percent                            6.2 percent

Torrance                                4.6 percent                            5.1 percent

Pasadena                                   7 percent                           7.8 percent

Pomona                               10.3 percent                           11.3 percent

Burbank                                 7.5 percent                             8.3 percent

Santa Monica                        7.6 percent                             8.4 percent

West Covina                          8.2 percent                                9 percent

Downey                                   7.4 percent                            8.2 percent

Palmdale                                11.6 percent                           12.7 percent

Lancaster                               13.1 percent                            14.4 percent

What is the April unemployment rate for Southern California counties?

Source: State of California Employment Development Department

Riverside                          9.6 percent

San Bernardino              9.6 percent

Los Angeles County       9.3 percent

Ventura                            6.9 percent

Orange                              5.7 percent


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