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Job Growth In July Adds Up To Southern California’s Best Month So Far In 2019

Monday, August 19, 2019

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There were enough Southern Californians new on the job in July to fill the Rose Bowl and the Staples Center at the same time.

The region had 122,000 more jobs across Los Angeles, Orange, San Bernardino, and Riverside counties last month than there were in July 2018, the Employment Development Department reported Friday, Aug. 16. The leap in hiring represented the strongest year-over-year growth so far this year.

Job growth for the four-county region in May and June was 106,000 and was below 100,000 in each of the first four months of the year.

Orange County saw growth of 24,300 jobs, a 1.5% uptick. The Inland Empire’s growth of 33,700 jobs, a 2.2% increase, was the region’s strongest. Los Angeles County had 64,000 more people receiving paychecks in July, an increase of 1.4%. 

The state’s monthly job report is not adjusted to reflect expected seasonal changes such as holidays and weather shifts.

“This was a really good report overall,” Redlands-based economist John Husing said. “The Southern California economy seems to be doing well.”

Husing noted several uncommon trends that reflect the nature of many new jobs — and the salaries they generate — across the region. He said an increasing number of workers in Los Angeles County are being hired for relatively low-paying jobs, such as food service workers, home health aides and administrative assistants.

The opposite was true for the Inland Empire, where paychecks are usually less than the coastal counties. Growth was seen in professional services and government, which tend to pay well. Also, the healthcare industry, which has been strong all year in the Inland counties, was up 5.9% year-to-year across the two-county region.

“So much of that is related to the Affordable Care Act, and to the healthcare field in the Inland Empire trying to catch up to the state averages,” Husing said.

Unemployment in Los Angeles County was 4.5%, unchanged from June. The jobless rate was 3.2% in Orange County, also unchanged. In the Inland Empire, it was 4.6% from 4.3% the previous month, the EDD reported.

Unemployment statewide was 4.1%, down from 4.2% in June. Payroll jobs increased by a solid 1.8% year-to-year.

“We’re looking at the state’s strongest month of the year,” said Robert Kleinhenz, executive director of research at Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics and the UC Riverside Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development.

Kleinhenz said job boosts in sectors such as health care and leisure and hospitality suggest some households have money to spend.

“There are concerns about how the logistics sector is faring in the face of trade wars,” he said. “But transportation and warehousing had a nice gain in the Inland Empire, while wholesale trade added jobs in Orange County.”

Here are some of the hotter and cooler markets across the region:

In Los Angeles County: July was a strong month for construction work, up 8.2%, led by jobs in specialty trade work. Additional growth was in health care (3.2%), transportation and warehousing (2.3%), accommodation and food (2.2%) and administrative support (2%).

Declines were seen in performing arts and sports (-2.5%), finance (-1.3%), retail (-1.1) and manufacturing (-0.3).

In Orange County, strong hiring was found in government (3.8%), leisure and hospitality (2..9%), construction (2.6%) and professional and business services (1.4%).

Weak sectors included architecture and engineering (-5.9%), (retail (-1.5%), management (-0.5%) and finance (-0.3%).

In the Inland Empire, the growth sectors, along with health care, included transportation and warehousing (4%), professional and business services (3.7%), leisure and hospitality (3.1%) and financial activities (1.4%).

Declines were seen in management (-2.4%), repair and maintenance (-1.7), construction (-0.3%) and wholesale trade (-0.2%).

Source: Orange County Register

Category: Economic News

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