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Santa Clarita's unemployment rate rises

Posted: March 23, 2013 3:59 p.m.
Updated: March 23, 2013 3:59 p.m.

After dropping to a low of 6 percent in November, Santa Clarita’s jobless numbers crept back up during the post-holiday season and stood at 6.7 percent in January, state officials reported this week.

The unadjusted January rate was still better than it was a year previous, when the rate for those out of work was 7.4 percent within the city, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department on Friday.

The rate was 6.2 percent in December, when employment rates are typically higher.

Seasonally adjusted numbers for the county of Los Angeles rose as well, ticking up to 10.4 percent from 10.3 percent in December.

California’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.8 percent in January, the Employment Development Department reported. The rate was 11 percent one year ago in January.

Slightly more than one-quarter million jobs were added in California over the past year, state officials reported. The 254,900 jobs added up to a 1.8 percent year-over-year increase.

The state calculated the number of people unemployed in California was 1.8 million in January, with only 519,632 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits.

Job gains were seen in seven industries, with professional and business services posting the largest gains in the past year. The fields of leisure and hospitality came in second for the most number of jobs added.

Sarah Raskin, a governor on the board of the Federal Reserve System, expressed concern Friday that more than half of the job gains since the recovery officially began a few years ago have been in lower-wage positions.

The decline in lower-wage occupations during the recession, including retail sales and food service, accounted for about one-fifth of job losses during the recession but slightly more than one-half of subsequent job gains, she said.

And while temporary work accounted for 10 percent of the job losses during the recession, these same jobs have accounted for more than 25 percent of the net employment gains since the recession ended.

While flexible job assignments may work for students and families, workers in the jobs often receive less pay and fewer benefits than traditional full-time or permanent employees do, she said. And they “often have no real pathway to upward mobility in the workplace.”

Statewide numbers for February have yet to be released, but the Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting the national unemployment rate edged down to 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January.




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