The unemployment rates in Southern California dropped in July, according to the latest figures released by the state Employment Development Department (EDD).
California in general has regained over 97 percent of the nearly 3 million nonfarm jobs lost during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to the EDD.
Statewide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 3.9 percent in July—the lowest ever on record since 1976—down from 4.2 percent in June and below the 7.4 percent rate from a year ago.
While the total nonfarm jobs are increasing, available positions in the financial sector have declined mainly because of the reductions in insurance carriers.
Earlier this month, the auto-insurance giant GEICO closed all 38 branches in California, making it the latest private insurance company to reduce business operations in the state.
Here are the unemployment rates in the counties of Los Angeles, San Diego, and Orange.
Los Angeles County
Los Angeles County’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent in July, down from a revised 5.1 percent in June and well below the 9 percent in July 2021.
Total nonfarm employment in the county decreased by 24,500 jobs between June and July to reach more than 4.5 million.
The government sector led the way by losing 44,400 positions, largely because of schools going on summer break.
On the upside, professional and business services added 6,900 jobs, the largest month-over gain among all sectors.
San Diego County
San Diego County’s unemployment rate decreased to 3.1 percent in July, down from a revised 3.2 percent in May and well below the 6.9 percent rate in July 2021.
The total nonfarm employment in the county decreased by 6,700 jobs between June and July. In addition, agriculture contracted by 200 to 9,700.
Compared to 2021, leisure and hospitality rose by 26,300 jobs—which accommodation and food services account for approximately 81 percent of the rise.
In Orange County, where seasonally adjusted figures were not available, the July unemployment rate was 2.8 percent, down slightly from 2.9 percent in June and well below the 6.4 percent rate a year ago.
The total nonfarm employment in Orange County increased by 5,600 jobs between June and July 2022.
Leisure and hospitality grew the most with 6,500 additional jobs since June. Meanwhile, the government and financial sectors had fewer jobs to offer over the month, down 15,800 and 700 respectively.
The comparable nationwide estimates were 3.5 percent in July, 3.6 percent in June, and 5.4 percent in July of last year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, both total nonfarm employment and the unemployment rate have returned to their pre-pandemic levels in February 2020.
Job growth across the country is led by gains in leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and health care.
City News Service contributed to this report.