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UPDATE: Unemployment rises in Santa Clarita

California's jobless rate steady at 10.7 percent

Posted: August 17, 2012 9:34 a.m.
Updated: August 17, 2012 5:39 p.m.

After remaining below 7 percent for the past three months, unemployment rates in Santa Clarita rose half a percent in July compared to June numbers, according to figures released Friday.

Santa Clarita’s unemployment rate in July was reported at 7.3 percent, according to figures released Friday by the Employment Development Department. The city’s unemployment rate had been 6.8 percent since April.

Still, the unemployment rate for July was nearly a full percent lower than in July 2011, when it stood at 8.2 percent. According to historical data from the Employment Development Department, Santa Clarita often sees its highest unemployment rates of the year in July.

“July historically trends higher unemployment,” said Jason Crawford, marketing and economic development manager for Santa Clarita. “There’s a lot of reasons, but some of the reasons that July numbers are traditionally higher are because of teachers not working during the summer and the increase in college graduates entering the work force.”

While the numbers in the city are down from last year, Crawford said the number of residents still looking for work is a problem.

“The good news for us is that our July numbers are down a full percent from last year,” Crawford said. “The bad news is that there are 6,000 residents who are looking for work who are unemployed.”

Unemployment rates in Los Angeles County also rose, hitting 11.9 percent. That’s up from 11.1 percent in June, state officials said.

California’s jobless rate remained unchanged at 10.7 percent in July as the state saw slow employment growth, adding a little more than 25,000 jobs.

The figure released Friday by the state Employment Development Department is an improvement over California’s 11.9 percent unemployment rate a year ago but also is a sign of the state’s slow recovery. The national unemployment rate was 8.3 percent in July.

Job seekers in Santa Clarita have resources, including the WorkSource Center at College of the Canyons, which is a partnership between the city, College of the Canyons and others. The center works to connect employers and employees and helps job-seekers find work.

“We’re trying to get job seekers solution-focused and trying to get them job-ready,” said Keri Aaver, interim director for the WorkSource Center.

Many of the jobs in Santa Clarita are aerospace- or manufacturing-based. Many of the people who work in those fields may have given up in the field when companies weren’t hiring, Aaver said.

She urged job-seekers to come to the WorkSource Center to find solutions, including workshops that help with resume-building, interview skills and second-chance workshops for convicted felons.

A Canyon Country man who has a full-time job was looking for employment at the WorkSource Center Friday, saying he wanted another part-time job in the Santa Clarita Valley. He’s managed to find a job in the San Fernando Valley but would rather work closer to home since gas is expensive.

“I’ve just started looking, so hopefully something comes up here so I don’t have to commute to the (San Fernando) Valley,” said Greg Laford.

One Newhall woman said she’s been unemployed since being laid off from the film industry in January said the WorkSource Center has done a lot to help her in her career. Stacy Robertson is looking at changing her field to medical assistance such as a job in billing, coding or patient records.

“My job right now is find a job,” Robertson said as she applied for jobs at the WorkSource Center Friday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.






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