Almost 100,000 new jobs added in region in the last year – Daily News

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Southern California saw strong job growth across four counties in April,  with almost 100,000 more people working than a year ago, according to a state report released Friday.

The state Employment Development Department reported 7,767,000 people were employed in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. Job growth increased by more than 1% in all three metropolitan areas in the last 12 month, topped by the Inland Empire’s 1.6%.

Unemployment fell across the board, and Chapman University economist Raymond Sfeir said that was a good sign, although he noted that part of the drop is due to a declining number of people participating in the workforce. Los Angeles County saw the steepest drop in that category.

Sfeir said fewer willing workers makes it hard on companies that want to hire more people, but it works in favor of many employees who might leave a job for a better-paying one.

“The market is all for the employees right now,” Sfeir said. “They’re the ones in control.”

Year-over-year job growth was reported at 1.3% in Los Angeles County and 1.1 % in Orange County. There were 57,000 jobs added since April 2018 in Los Angeles County, 24,700 in the two Inland counties and 18,000 in Orange County.

The state data is not seasonally adjusted, meaning it doesn’t include shifts in the market caused by holidays, weather or other expected occurrences.

The unemployment rate declined sharply in the Inland Empire, 3.7% from 4.5% in March; in Orange County it fell to 2.6% from 3.2%, in Los Angeles County, 4% from 4.4% and statewide, 3.9% from 4.6%.

Robert Kleinhenz, an economist with Los Angeles-based Beacon Economics and executive director of research for the UC Riverside School of Business Center for Economic Forecasting and Development, said that statewide, April was the strongest month of the year for job expansion.

Nonfarm payrolls in California grew by 46,000, making it the strongest month in almost two years. Year-over-year, the state has added 271,600 jobs.

“That said, California’s employment growth has been slower this year compared to 2018, and has recently dipped below the job growth of the nation,” Kleinhenz wrote in an analysis.

He added that Southern California’s shrinking labor pool has affected job growth, with cities such as San Francisco responsible for much of the state’s growth.

Here’s a look at the strong job markets in Southern California’s three metro areas, and some of the sectors where the prospects appear weaker:

In Los Angeles County, growth was strongest in construction (5.8%) followed by transportation and warehousing (3.1 %), motion picture (3.3%), ambulatory health care (3.2%) and food and drinking places (2.1%). However, the EDD in its report suggested the surge in construction work could be due to a backlog caused by a wetter-than-usual winter.

Declining sectors included telecommunications (-6%), financial activities (-1.8%) retail trade (-1.7%), manufacturing (-0.6%) and performing arts and spectator sports (-5.3%).

In Orange County, the best prospects were in education (4.6%), professional and business services (2.9%), leisure and hospitality (2.8%), computer and electronic manufacturing (3%) and administrative support (2.7%).

The sectors without growth include construction (-1%), finance and insurance (-2.7%) and local government (-0.4 %).

In the Inland Empire, health care had strong growth (5.1%) for the fourth consecutive month. Other growing sectors were transportation and warehousing (2.4 %), construction (2%), government (2%), business and professional services (1.9%) and leisure and hospitality (0.9%).

Sectors that lost jobs in the last year include finance and insurance (-2.8%), repair and maintenance services (-2.3%) and manufacturing (-0.3%).

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