The Breakdown

Explaining Southern California's economy

LA County unemployment rate nearly 10 percent in July

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The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County ticked up in July to 9.9 percent from 9.7 percent in June.  Roughly 13,000 county residents became unemployed in July, nearly doubling the number from June.  The information was released by the Los Angeles County office of the state Employment Development Department.

“We haven’t seen that kind of increase since the great recession,” said Robert Lee, Labor Market Consultant for the Employment Development Department.  

But he said it’s not cause for alarm. The county’s unemployment rolls only increased during three of the 22 months prior to June.

Los Angeles County had a net loss of 30,400 jobs in July, with the government sector accounting for most of the loss.  Government lost 42,300 jobs,  and the majority of those jobs were in education.

“That’s a big drop, but this is normal for this month because it’s when school breaks happen,”  Lee says.   Other sectors posting job losses in July were health care and social assistance, manufacturing, and construction. 

The sectors adding jobs were information (with motion pictures and sound recordings leading the way), retail trade, transportation and leisure and hospitality.

Compared to a year ago, the July numbers were an improvement.  Los Angeles County has added a net of 61,800 jobs since July of 2012, when the unemployment rate was 11 percent, according to the state report. 

L.A. County’s labor force also continues to grow.  Nearly 5 million people (4,969,000) in the county either have a job or are looking for one, the highest number in 23 years.   Lee said that’s encouragement to those who gave up on finding work.

“For those that have been unemployed, they  might say, ‘oh, the market’s getting better; maybe I should go back and look for a job,'” Lee said. 

July Unemployment - L.A. County

July Unemployment - All California Counties

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