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Local jobless figures rise

Verdugo Jobs Center
People look for work at the Verdugo Jobs Center in October.
(Raul Roa)

Burbank and Glendale bucked the trend of good employment news in January, losing ground even as state and national jobless figures improved.

The unemployment rate in Burbank grew to 10.7% in January, compared to 10.3% in December, according to the state Employment Development Department. In Glendale, the rate grew from 11.1% in December to 11.5% in January.

The seasonally adjusted jobless rates for state and Los Angeles County each dropped by one-tenth of a percent, to 12.4% and 12.9%, respectively. Nationally, the unemployment rate slipped from 9% to 8.9%, according to the U.S. Labor Department.

California’s entertainment sector saw its first significant drop-off in months, shedding nearly 9,000 jobs, or 6.5% of the total, according to the state Employment Development Department. The state’s retail sector shed 14,000 jobs, about 3.5% of the December 2010 workforce.


The figures reflect seasonal adjustments, as retailers release temporary employees after the holidays and work on television shows slows down.

For the last year, California’s unemployment figures consistently have been about 3% higher than national figures. Don Nakamoto, the labor market specialist for the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, attributed that to the mix of influential industries here.

“The state and Southern California were booming during the early 2000s because of the housing boom, while other parts of the country saw limited effect from the boom,” he said in an e-mail. “Now, with the continuing problems in the housing and commercial real estate market in Southern California, employment in those sectors of the state remain depressed.”

In La Cañada Flintridge, the unemployment rate edged up to 5.1% in January from 5% in December, and in La Crescenta the rate grew to 6.5% from 6.3% in January.