L.A. County’s unemployment rate dipped to 8.2 percent in May as 15,000 more residents found jobs during the month, according to state figures released Friday.
But the county’s job creation machine slowed to a crawl in May as only 2,400 net new jobs were added to employer payrolls, the state Employment Development Department reported. Robust summer hiring in the leisure/hospitality/food service sector was offset by losses in the entertainment and manufacturing sectors.
The county’s unemployment rate was down slightly from 8.3 percent in April. A year ago, it was 10 percent. About 11,000 more residents entered the labor force looking for work in May and 15,000 more reported finding jobs.
For comparison, the statewide unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in May, and the national rate was 6.3 percent.
The leisure/hospitality/food service sector led the employment gainers in May with 8,000 jobs as hiring for the summer tourism season kicked into gear. The financial services sector also reported a gain of 1,400 jobs.
The motion picture and sound recording industry lost 2,600 jobs and manufacturing lost 2,700.
“We’re definitely seeing less hiring among our entertainment industry clients than we used to,” said Brandi Britton, Los Angeles region district manager for Robert Half International, a Menlo Park staffing firm.
Year over year, county employers added 89,000 jobs to their payrolls, for a robust 2.2. percent growth rate.
Nine of the county’s 11 major industry sectors posted job gains compared with last year, led by professional and business services (up 23,500 jobs), leisure/hospitality (up 9,500 jobs) and construction (up 9,300 jobs).
Manufacturing lost 14,500 jobs. About 3,000 of those losses came from apparel manufacturing firms.