Southland counties lose jobs as state unemployment stays at 9.8%

Applicants seeking work stand in line at the NEC Job Matching counter at the 10,000 Best Jobs Expo on Thursday.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

As California’s unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.8% in January, some counties in the Golden State reported jobless rates edging up slightly.

California’s employers added just 1,700 jobs in January, according to the state’s Employment Development Department. However, December figures were revised upward to show a net gain of 8,200 jobs instead of the 17,500 loss reported initially reported.

The state has been adding jobs every month since July 2011.

Economists say California businesses may be pulling back slightly as a reaction to a payroll tax increase and the state’s recent implementation of a sales tax bump and increased tax on wealthy individuals.


“I am a little concerned that job creation in California is not going to be as strong as last year,” said Esmael Adibi, director of Chapman University’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research. “The growth rate for both the nation and California is going to be slightly below what it was last year.”

Adibi said that a renewed housing market will help offset some weakness from higher spending and also sequestration, the across-the-board spending cuts that went into effect March 1.

In Southern California, many counties reported higher umemployment rates.

In January, Los Angeles county lost 81,000 jobs, and its unemployment rate edged up slightly to 10.4% from 10.3% in December.

Orange County shed 28,000 positions on its payroll. The unemployment rate edged up to 7.1% from a revised 6.8% in December.

San Diego County’s payrolls declined by 22,000 positions. Its jobless rate rose to 8.6% from 8.2% the month before.

Riverside and San Bernardino counties combined lost 19,400 jobs, and saw its unemployment rate increase to 11.5% from 11%.

February employment numbers will be reported next week.


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