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Jobless rate drops again in Santa Clarita

The state’s rate falls to 8.6 percent

Posted: June 21, 2013 5:06 p.m.
Updated: June 21, 2013 5:06 p.m.

Santa Clarita’s unemployment rate dropped once again in May, hitting 5.6 percent, according to numbers released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.

California’s unemployment rate fell to 8.6 percent in May, down from 9 percent in April and 10.7 percent a year ago, the state’s labor department reported.

The Los Angeles County jobless rate fell in May as well. Unemployment dipped to 9.6 percent from a revised rate of 9.9 percent in April — down from 11.1 percent a year ago, the state reported.

Nationally, the number of unemployed dropped slightly, but the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported the 7.6 percent jobless rate remained unchanged from April.

Locally, Santa Clarita’s unemployment rate dropped from 5.7 percent in April to 5.6 percent in May.

Compared to similar-sized cities in California, Santa Clarita has among the lowest jobless rates in the state.

“The job market is steadily improving and our unemployment rate is a full point lower than this time last year, when it was 6.6 percent,” said City Manager Ken Striplin.

The city’s 5.6 percent jobless rate compared favorably to 30 cities with similar-sized labor pools, ranking among the lowest.

“We’ll continue to work with our economic partners to attract new jobs and help companies relocate and expand, providing more opportunities in Santa Clarita,” Striplin said.

Economic experts expressed varying outlooks for the unemployment levels when analysts spoke in February at the Economic and Real Estate Outlook Conference in Santa Clarita.

Job growth would continue to be weak with persistently high unemployment in California in 2013, said Bill Watkins, executive director for the Center for Economic Research and Forecasting at California Luthern University.

The coastal regions of the state, however, would fare better than the inland areas, Watkins said.

On the other hand, Mark Schneipp, director of California Economic Forecast, said Santa Clarita’s job growth was likely to improve even more in 2013, and continue into 2014.

According to the U.S. Labor Department, California and West Virginia reported the largest declines in unemployment among all states.

California also has seen the largest drop in unemployment among the states over the past 12 months.

California hit a high of 12.4 percent unemployment for much of 2010 but has seen steady job gains since then.
Still, roughly 1.6 million Californians remain unemployed.



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