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Santa Clarita unemployment rises

Posted: March 24, 2009 1:57 a.m.
Updated: March 24, 2009 4:55 a.m.
 
Santa Clarita's unemployment rate rose two-tenths of a percent to 6.8 percent from January to February, while Los Angeles County's rate during the same time period neared 11 percent, according to the California's Employment Development Department.

"Honestly, 0.2 percent is a rather small number if you're comparing our unemployment rate to other areas," said Jason Crawford, the city's economic development and marketing manager.

"But that does lose the message of, still, the people that have lost their jobs are our friends, our neighbors, the people who live down the street," Crawford said. "You don't want to minimize that. Yes, we're doing comparatively well, but there's still a lot of people hurting."

The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County increased over the month to 10.9 percent in February from 10.4 percent in January with trade, transportation and utilities sectors taking a big hit of 5,800 jobs lost, according to the Employment Department report.

Retail trade accounted for nearly 83 percent of the loss, declining 4,800 jobs in February. Other sectors that experienced significant declines included manufacturing, professional and business services, financial activities and construction.

Crawford said some sectors in Santa Clarita, such as retail, saw some job creation while simultaneously experiencing job losses.
"Retail jobs have been lost but there's also been retail jobs added with all the stores opening at the Plaza at Golden Valley," he said. "A couple hundred were hired just last month."

Educational and health services had the greatest gain, adding 9,600 jobs, according to the report. Educational service jobs with colleges, universities and professional schools added 7,600 of the 8,700 jobs created in private education.

Other job-creating sectors included health care and social assistance, information, motion picture and sound recording, leisure and hospitality.

Government jobs were up 1,900 at the local and state level but were offset by a loss of 500 jobs in federal government, the report said.

California's jobless rate climbed to 10.5 percent in February, the second month of double-digit unemployment for the state.

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