At the risk of stating the obvious, it’s tax time – and you can guess what that means to Los Angeles County’s employment picture.
The professional and business services sector posted the biggest job growth in the county during December with a net gain of 6,300 new jobs. Of those, two-thirds (4,200) were in accounting, tax preparation and bookkeeping.
Combined with retail trade adding 5,400 positions in December due to increased holiday hiring, the job growth drove L.A. County’s month-to-month unemployment rate one notch lower to 11.8 percent from 11.9 percent in November.
Santa Clarita’s jobless rate, meanwhile, was unchanged from November at 7.1 percent.
California’s rate improved to 11.1 percent in December from 11.3 in November, while the national unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent from 8.7 the previous month and 9.4 percent a year ago.
Real estate showed some month-over-month improvement in December with a net gain of 800 new jobs in Los Angeles County. Manufacturing added 700 jobs, insurance services added 500 and information added 200.
Losers were private education (down 1,600) and health services (down 2,200). While state and local government (including public schools) eliminated 3,400 positions during December, the federal government managed to pad its payroll with 400 new jobs in Los Angeles County.
On an annual basis, however, private education and health care are healthier than they were in 2010, with 7,900 new jobs added from December to December, most of those (6,600) in private ducation.
Professional and business services gained 7,200 jobs on the year, while information services added 5,400 jobs – mainly in “residual” services such as telemarketing and news-clipping businesses.
Trans, transportation and utilities (including retail trade) added 3,100 positions in Los Angeles County over the year, while construction gained 1,300 and mining was flat.
Government (including public schools) cut payrolls by 5,900 jobs in the county since December 2010, while manufacturing fell by 3,700 jobs, financial services were off by 2,100, and leisure and hospitality was down by 500.