May’s job growth modest for Southern California as workforce shrinks – Daily News

on Jun22
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The job market in Southern California continues to build on the momentum it has gained this year, with all four counties showing growth in May, a state report released Friday found.

There were almost 106,000 more Southern California workers on payrolls in May than there were 12 months ago, the Employment Development Department reported. Job growth topped 1% in all three metropolitan areas, with the Inland Empire leading the way with 1.8% growth.

Riverside and San Bernardino counties expanded their payrolls by a total of 27,600 jobs since May 2018. Los Angeles County saw 59,800 new jobs, a 1.3% boost, and Orange County’s 18,500 new jobs amounted to 1.1% growth. Monthly job tallies are not seasonally adjusted, meaning that calendar shifts such as the end of a school year or intense weather are not factored into the data.

California’s major cities have had solid job growth but the entire state has seen a slowdown for at least two years now, said Chris Thornberg, a founding partner at Los Angeles-based Beason Economics.

Thornberg said California’s job growth of about 1.6% is currently even with the nation’s.

“That’s OK, except when you realize it’s a relatively new phenomenon,” Thornberg said. “For the last few years we were ahead, but we’ve been slowing sharply.”

Thornberg pointed to the job growth in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties that were all twice as brisk two years ago and said the shrinking workforce is probably the biggest reason.

“There comes a point in time when you run up against the reality, that you can’t have jobs if you can’t find workers,” he said.

Redlands-based economist John Husing said that much of the job growth is in places such as restaurants and hotels, especially in the coastal counties.

“It seems like we’re in very good shape,” Husing said of the economy. “But the problem is, we’re seeing growth in population-service jobs, rather than some of the other categories that pay better.”

An estimated 2,300 jobs in hotels and restaurants were added in May in Orange County, making it the county’s busiest job segment. Husing said that probably can be attributed to the opening of the new Galaxy’s Edge attraction at Disneyland.

Unemployment declined in all four counties, led by Orange County’s 2.4% in May, down from 2.6% the previous month. The Inland Empire saw its jobless rate fall to 3.5% from 3.7% in April, and Los Angeles County’s fell to 4.5% from 4.6%.

Statewide the jobless rate was a seasonally adjusted 4.2% in May, unchanged from May 2018 and down slightly from 4.3% in April.

Here is a look at the jobs that grew vs. those that didn’t:

In Los Angeles County, construction had a very strong month, with 6.4% more jobs than a year ago. Other solid markets were seen for architects and engineers (7.3%), transportation and warehousing (3%), administrative and support services (2.6%) and ambulatory health care (1.9%).

Declining sectors included financial activities (-1.5%), retail trade (-1.3%) performing arts and spectator sports (-0.7%) and information (-0.1%).

In Orange County, strong sectors include leisure and hospitality (3.5%), professional and business services (2.5%), education (2%), government (1.5%), wholesale trade (1.2%) and manufacturing (0.8%).

Weakness was reported in architecture and engineering (-2.4%), financial activities (-1.6%), retail trade (-1.5%) and construction (-0.6%).

In the Inland Empire, there was continued growth in ambulatory health care (6.4%), administrative and support services (3.6%), professional and business services (2.9 %), transportation and warehousing (2.8%), leisure and hospitality (2.5%) and government (2.5%).

The weaker sectors in the Inland area include repair and maintenance service (-1.7%), wholesale trade (-1.4%), financial activities (-1.1%) and manufacturing (-0.8%).

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