Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in June as job growth picked up in the region, according to figures released Friday.
The unemployment rate improved a tenth of a point from May, according to numbers released state’s Employment Development Department. In June 2013, the rate stood at 10 percent.
Leisure and hospitality led the way, adding 4,000 jobs as businesses geared up for the summer tourist season. Entertainment added 2,800 jobs, as did retail. Construction added 2,100 new jobs.
Schools going out of session for the summer were the primary cause of job losses during the month. Private education employers shed 10,300 workers, while local public education payrolls fell by 2,800.
Over the past year, county payrolls increased at a robust 2.2 percent rate, leading to 89,000 new jobs. Health care and social assistance employers led with 34,000 jobs, followed by professional and business services, up 22,000. But these gains were tempered by a 16,000 slide in manufacturing jobs over the past year.
“Companies now have a greater confidence in their incremental growth for the future,” said Mara Klug, vice president for the Los Angeles region with Adecco, a staffing firm based in Glattburg, Switzerland. “We’re now seeing more direct hiring for full-time positions than in previous years.”
Among large cities in the greater Valley, Lancaster had the highest unemployment rate at 11.6 percent, an increase from 11.4 percent in May. Palmdale was next at 10.2 percent, up from 10 percent the previous month.
Elsewhere, Glendale reported 7.1 percent, an increase from 6.9 percent in May; Burbank was at 5.6 percent, down from 6.4; and Santa Clarita was at 5.0 percent, an uptick from 4.8 percent in May.
The largest city in the region, Los Angeles, reported unemployment of 9.1 percent in June compared to 8.8 percent the previous month.
Statewide the rate improved by two tenths of a point to 7.4 percent as California employers added a net 24,200 jobs to their payrolls. The national unemployment rate was 6.3 percent.