Unemployment rate drops in LA County and statewide

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California's unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 8.7 percent in October, with employers adding 39,800 jobs, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The job gain was one of the largest month-to-month gains for any state. California also had one of the largest over-the-year increases, behind only Texas, adding 207,300 jobs since October of last year.

The labor report was issued Friday morning and included September and October because of delays from the government shutdown.

The Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale area continues to see higher levels of unemployment than the state average, though it saw a slight decrease from 10.1 percent in August to 9.7 percent in October.

“We’re seeing job gains happen across a wide array of industries, occupations, and incomes,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Chief Economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

From entry level jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector,  to construction, to advanced-skill jobs in the professional, scientific and services sector,  California employers added a healthy number in September and October.  The only sectors to lose jobs were finance and manufacturing.

Since October of last year, the Los Angeles County  labor market has added  56,600 jobs.  Nearly a third - 18,500 came in the leisure and hospitality sector.  Kleinhenz that means tourism is on the rise, but more importantly that that people who live in the area are more willing to go out to eat and have fun.    

“They’re spending more locally, supporting more economic activity locally,” Kleinhenz says.   “That of course means that they have more confidence in their own personal financial situation.” 

Elsewhere in Southern California, Orange County's unemployment rate fell to 5.8 percent.  In the Inland Empire, the unemployment finally dropped into single digits - 9.8 percent. In Ventura County, the unemployment rate dropped to 7.3 percent. 

This story has been updated.

With contributions from KPCC staff

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