Jobless rate up 1% locally

The number of unemployed people in Glendale and Burbank grew by 1% last month, a shift observers attributed to schools being out for the summer and the loss of U.S. Census Bureau jobs.

The July unemployment rate in Glendale was 11.7%, up 1% from June, according to the California Economic Development Department. In Burbank, the unemployment rate rose 0.9% in July to 10.9%.

In Los Angeles County, the jobless rate rose from 12.2% to 13.4%. Statewide, the figure is 12.3%, the same as in June.

Statewide figures showed the rapid growth in TV and movie-related jobs flattening out. While that sector has grown by nearly 22,000 jobs, or 18.7%, since July 2009, its growth rate was just 0.1% in July.

Economists said the figure reflected seasonal factors, including the fact that many pilots and TV shows are developed early in the year.

"It may just be the period in between saying 'yes' (to pilots and series) and starting the shooting," said Nancy Sidhu, chief economist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Don Nakamoto, labor market specialist for the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, said the municipal figures released by the state do not reflect seasonal adjustments, so the many teachers and school employees on hiatus in the summer boost jobless figures.

Unemployment data should improve in September, after students go back to school, Nakamoto said, although he noted that school layoffs are widespread because of the state budget crisis.

Nakamoto and Burbank Chamber of Commerce President Gary Olson expressed concern about the private sector, which has experienced minimal growth.

The stagnation, said Nakamoto, "is kind of feeding on itself, making employers reluctant to make commitments."

Olson said small employers are waiting for the lending environment to improve.

"Until the lending institutions start easing up their lending practices, it is going to be tough for small businesses to get loans they may need to carry themselves forward," Olson said. "They are not about to turn around and hire employees."

In La Crescenta, the unemployment rate grew from 6.1% in June to 6.7% in July. In La Cañada Flintridge, the rate climbed from 4.8% to 5.2%.

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