The Los Angeles Economic Development Corp. reported an optimistic outlook for the county in its monthly economic briefing this week.

February was the first month in the last two months that the local unemployment rate decreased. LAEDC Chief Executive Bill Allen credited local coronavirus restrictions easing in several sectors and higher vaccination rates for the decrease, though he stressed the local economy is not out of the woods yet.

“We remain optimistic at the LAEDC that our economy will continue to recover significantly, but not completely, from a jobs perspective this year,” Allen said in the briefing. “Our individual and collective vigilance will be required to assure that our recovery remains on track.”

The unemployment rate was at 10.9 percent, down from 12.6 percent at the beginning of the year, and data from the state Employment Development Department indicates 55,900 jobs were added in February. Accommodation and food service industries saw the largest gains, adding 32,500 jobs over the last month. With the latest increase, 27.9 percent of the nonfarm jobs lost last March and April have returned, the LAEDC reported.

As of March 23, L.A. County moved to red tier restrictions, allowing for partial reopening of indoor dining and entertainment operations. On March 30, the county reached orange tier thresholds of positivity, vaccination and death rates for the virus and, if the rates remain steady, restrictions will further loosen on April 5.