L.A. County’s unemployment rate remained steady at 4.4 percent in May as the local economy hovers near full employment, according to state figures released Friday.
Separately, local employers stepped up their hiring in May, adding nearly 16,000 jobs to their payrolls, up from a 5,000-job gain in April, according to the state Employment Development Department.
The steady unemployment rate reflected little movement in the local labor force. The size of the labor force in L.A. County was unchanged in May at 5,141,000, while the number of residents reporting they were working rose by 2,000 to 4,914,000 – a gain of 0.04 percent.
The unemployment rate was below the 4.8 percent L.A. County recorded in May 2017. But it was higher than the 4.2 percent unemployment rate the state registered last month and the 3.8 percent national figure.
Meanwhile, the county recorded a net addition of 15,700 payroll jobs in May – a substantial increase over the 4,900 reported in April – for a total of 4,496,600 jobs. Adjusted for seasonal factors, the monthly gain was 5,300 jobs.
The leisure/hospitality sector posted the largest job gains as the region geared up for the summer tourist season; the sector gained 10,600 jobs, almost evenly split between accommodation/food services and arts/entertainment/recreation. Other sectors posted small gains in payroll jobs, including administrative/support/waste services (up 4,000 jobs) and local government (up 2,700 jobs).