The most recent unemployment numbers in Burbank show a slight
decline from previous months, although the city anticipates that
positive direction will head south again.
“We’re expecting a lot more [residents to be out of work] in
January because people either had seasonal jobs that are ending or
they took a break from their job searching during the holiday season
and are ready to start looking again,” Burbank Economic Development
Manager Yvette Ulloa said.
According to the California Employment Development Department,
Burbank’s unemployment rate was at 4% in November -- the department’s
most recent statistic -- compared to 5.5% in Glendale and 5.8%
throughout Los Angeles County. California’s jobless rate is 6.3%,
while the nation is at 5.8%.
Burbank’s rate was down from 4.2% in October.
In the past six months, various agencies like the Workforce
Connection, a free job-resource center that Ulloa heads, and the
Burbank Temporary Aid Center, an organization providing short-term
emergency needs like food and shelter, have noticed an astronomical
increase in demand for their services.
Pat Smola, the director of BTAC, has seen a jump from five
requests a week for their services to five a day. Ulloa said the
Task- force Connection has increased from 100 monthly visitors when
it opened in December 2001 to more than 800.
“Nothing is more humiliating to someone than to not have any money
coming in,” Smola said.
Ulloa credits the city government for heavily supporting local
business -- especially the city manager’s office for easing the loss
of jobs when Lockheed Corp. left -- and fostering the city’s
“I think Burbank is a very strong community that has been able to
transform itself through the times,” she said.
Ulloa also said that judging unemployment in the city referred to
as the “media capital of the world” is sometimes a dubious task. The
reason is that an estimated 25% to 30% of Taskforce Connection users
are contracted entertainment- industry workers who, by nature of
their occupation, are employed from project to project, leaving them
out of work for short spurts.