L.A. County Still Adding Jobs, Just Not As Many

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Unemployment will continue to decline and the number of jobs will continue to grow this year and next in Los Angeles County, but at a somewhat slower pace then in the past four years, according to an economic forecast released Wednesday.

The report by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation predicted that the county’s unemployment rate will fall to 6.2 percent this year and 5.9 percent next year — both down from the current rate of 6.7 percent.

“The county added 94,700 jobs in 2015, equivalent to a 2.2 percent annual increase,” according to the report. “A majority of the county’s major industries added jobs last year, as broad-based growth pushed wage and salary jobs to a record high. Los Angeles County should continue to add jobs at a 1.7 percent annual rate this year, followed by a 1 percent annual rate in 2017.”

According to the LAEDC, personal income will continue an upward trajectory, with anticipated gains of 4.4 percent this year and 5.3 percent next year. Combined with a stronger dollar and weaker inflation, household purchasing power should increase as the year goes on, leading to increases in taxable sales of 5.5 percent this year and 6.8 percent next, according to the
report.

“This means local sales and use tax revenues will climb, putting local government agencies on a sounder financial footing,” according to the report.

The county is likely to add more than 100,000 residents over the next two years, even with a relatively low growth rate.

“Most of the recent population growth in Los Angeles County has been due to natural increase — births outnumbering deaths — while net migration was slightly negative again last year,” according to the report. “The county’s high cost of living and lack of affordable housing unites for low and middle-income households are contributing to the slowdown in population growth.”

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February 18, 2016  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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