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City’s jobless numbers creep up in July

Rates follow typical summer patterns but are far lower than the prior summer

Posted: August 15, 2014 5:40 p.m.
Updated: August 15, 2014 5:40 p.m.

Following what experts call a predictable summer pattern, Santa Clarita’s unemployment numbers rose slightly in July, according to numbers released Friday by the state’s Employment Development Department.

The jobless rate rose to 5.3 percent, up from 5.0 percent in June.

“It’s very much the seasonal pattern,” said Keri Aaver, director of the Santa Clarita’s WorkSource Center. “We typically see less (job) recruitment events during July. It begins slowing down in June.”

Aaver describes the summer employment slump as “seasonal in the suburbs.” But the figures are already changing for the better as more companies request recruitment help again, she said.

“In August we’ve already seen it tick up and expect to see beneficial numbers pretty soon,” Aaver said. “The WorkSource Center has had more requests from companies to recruit and is seeing more job-seekers again.”

Locally, the unemployment figure tends to rise every summer when schools let out and teachers are off, but even the job-seekers tend to stop looking for jobs when their kids are out of school, Aaver said.

“July’s unemployment rate of 5.3 percent is significantly lower than July of 2013, when it was 6.6 percent,” said Jason Crawford, economic development manager for the city.

“We continue to see improvements in the economy in Santa Clarita with new businesses like Samsung and Sunkist coming to town, and new business parks breaking ground this year building new industrial and office buildings for more businesses to move into,” Crawford said.

Los Angeles County’s jobless numbers rose as well, jumping to 8.7 percent in July from 8.2 percent in June.

Statewide, although 323,600 more jobs were added to the marketplace between July 2013 and 2014, the state’s unemployment rate remained unchanged from June of this year and stands at 7.4 percent. A year ago, however, it was 9 percent.

Information and professional and business services posted the largest jobs gains, up 4.1 percent and 3.9 percent, respectively.

Nationally, the jobless rate remained at 6.2 percent.

Southern California cities surrounding Santa Clarita and those with comparable-sized labor forces also saw their numbers rise in July. All had greater increases than Santa Clarita’s.

July unemployment rates in those cities were, at a minimum, a full percentage point higher than Santa Clarita’s, ranging from 12.3 percent in Lancaster to 6.6 percent in Pasadena.

While employers are still cautious, Aaver said, part of the seasonal slowdown also comes from companies operating on fiscal calendars that run from July to June.

“In July they’re just wrapping things up from June and gearing up for the new fiscal year,” she said.




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