Los Angeles County employers added 35,000 jobs to their payrolls in October but that was not enough to reduce the area’s unemployment rate, which held steady at 8 percent, according to state figures released Friday.
The job gains brought the county’s payroll to 4.22 million, the highest level since the recession began in December 2007.
More than half the net gain in jobs came from the education sector, which added more than 20,000 workers last month. Most of these gains came in higher education, evenly split between public and private universities.
The next biggest jobs gainer was a largely seasonal increase of 7,000 in the retail and transportation/distribution sectors
“We’ve seen big increases in warehouse/transportation workers to get out the products to get them on store shelves in time for the holidays,” said Mara Klug, vice president with the Los Angeles office of Adecco, a staffing firm based in Glattbrugg, Switzerland.
But adjusting for these seasonal hiring trends in education, retail and distribution, the county actually posted an estimated net loss of 13,000 payroll jobs, with the total dipping below 4.2 million, the Employment Development Department reported.
The stagnating unemployment rate was still down from 9.6 percent a year ago. However, the county’s unemployment rate remains higher than the statewide rate of 7.3 percent for October and significantly higher than the national rate of 5.8 percent. Contributing to the poor showing are the county’s two largest cities, Los Angeles and Long Beach, which posted unemployment rates of 8.7 percent.
Among large cities in the greater Valley region, Lancaster reported the highest unemployment at 11.2 percent, up from 11.1 percent in September. Palmdale’s rose two tenths of a point to 9.9 percent.
In the east San Fernando Valley, Glendale had a 6.8 percent rate, an increase from 6.7 percent, and Burbank was at 6.4 percent, up a tenth of a point. Santa Clarita reported 4.8 percent, also up a tenth of a point.