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City’s jobless rate ticks up slightly

Posted: June 20, 2014 6:53 p.m.
Updated: June 20, 2014 6:53 p.m.

After unemployment in Santa Clarita plunged in April to 4.6 percent, the rate rose slightly to 4.8 percent in May, California’s Employment Development Department reported Friday.

But unemployment has dropped from 5.9 percent in May 2013, said Jason Crawford, economic development manager for the city of Santa Clarita.

“This is a continued positive trend, with more residents finding jobs and more businesses in hiring mode,” he said.

Nationally, the May jobless rate was 6.3 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Statewide, the jobless rate dropped to 7.6 percent in May, down from 7.8 percent in April, according to the EDD.
For Los Angeles County, the unemployment rate rose from 7.6 percent in April to 8 percent in May.

Locally, the city of Santa Clarita enjoys one of the lowest jobless rates in the county.

It ranks in the top quarter of cities county-wide with unemployment rates in the 4 percent range, but the other cities with such low rates record labor forces two-thirds smaller than Santa Clarita’s.

For cities with a labor force exceeding 90,000 workers, Santa Clarita has the lowest jobless rate in comparison to Long Beach and the city of Los Angeles, which each stand at 8.8 percent, and Glendale, with an unemployment rate of 6.9 percent.

Compared to economically similar cities, Santa Clarita’s jobless rate is also below Burbank’s at 6.4 percent and Pasadena’s at 6 percent.

Neighboring cities to the north, Palmdale and Lancaster, have jobless rates of 10 percent and 11.4 percent, respectively.

“Anecdotally, we’ve been talking to a number of local businesses during the past month, many of whom are reporting stable employment or growth,” said Holly Schroeder, president and CEO of the SCV Economic Development Corporation.

As the summer season heats up, L.A. County had the greatest job growth in the leisure and hospitality, arts, entertainment and recreation areas, reported the state EDD.

If typical seasonal patterns prevail in Santa Clarita, the jobless rate should spike slightly during the summer months when teachers are off work. Public sector jobs in local schools and colleges account for nearly 6,700 employees.

Still, Santa Clarita has shown steady recovery post-recession and compares favorably to the majority of cities in Los Angeles County.

“The latest jobs numbers from the fourth quarter of 2013 show that Santa Clarita has added almost 8,000 jobs since 2010,” Crawford said.

“According to the California EDD, there were 77,969 jobs in the fourth quarter of 2013, compared with 70,029 for fourth quarter of 2010,” he said.




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