By Kevin Smith, San Gabriel Valley Tribune
Posted: 03/03/17 – 2:16 PM PST |

Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire saw heavy job losses in January following the meager gains that were posted in December, but California still managed to add nearly 10,000 jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

L.A. County employers shed 78,700 jobs in January, fueled primarily by a steep decline in seasonal retail positions that were eliminated at the end of the holiday shopping season.

That came in stark contrast to December’s gain of 8,100 jobs. But the region’s unemployment rate dipped to 4.9 percent in January, down from 5.1 percent in December and 5.6 percent a year earlier.

Kimberly Ritter-Martinez, an economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp., said the drop-off of seasonal holiday employment is typical for January.

“It’s been pretty consistent,” she said. “It happened in 2016 with 87,000 jobs lost and in 2013 we lost 81,000 jobs.”

The county’s trade, transportation and utilities sector lost 28,800 jobs in January and additional declines were seen in leisure and hospitality (down 19,000 jobs), information (down 7,700), construction (down 4,700) and manufacturing (down 4,000), among others.

Financial activities was the only industry to show an increase over the month with 900 new jobs.

L.A. County added 62,600 jobs over the year at a rate of 1.5 percent. That outpaced December’s year-over-year gain of 58,600 jobs.

To read expanded article, click here.