LAEDC analysis of latest California labor market data

By January 27, 2014 No Comments

December employment data allows a look at how job creation fared in 2013

December 2013 California and Southern California
Summary of Labor Markets


Robert Kleinhenz, Chief Economist at LAEDC, offers the following overview:

“California’s unemployment rate fell to 8.3% to end the year 2013. The December unemployment rate was the lowest since October 2008 when the figure stood at 8.2%. California made noteworthy progress last year, with wage and salary job growth outpacing the number of entrants into the labor force by a margin of two to one. For all of 2013, the statewide wage and salary employment grew at a 1.7% yearly rate, about the same as the nation but slower than in 2012. Gains in leisure and hospitality, construction, professional and business services, and health care led the way, while government and manufacturing lost jobs.”

Here are the details from Dr. Kleinhenz:

California Summary (Seasonally Adjusted Numbers)

Current Month: December 2013


Yr Ago

Month Ago

Current Month



Unemployment Rate in %






Nonfarm Jobs




+13,600 or 0.1%

+235,700 or +1.6%

+ MTM = month-to-month, YTY = year-to-year

  • Unemployment rate fell 1.5% from 9.8% a year ago to 8.3% in December 2013, and decreased 0.2% from a month earlier.
  • The labor force grew by 10,000 year-to-year (0.1%).
  • Nonfarm (wage and salary) jobs grew by 235,700 YTY or 1.6% YTY, but government sector payrolls fell by 18,400 jobs, with most of the decrease occurring in local goverment.
  • Most segments of the economy added jobs on a year-to-year basis, led once again by Leisure & Hospitality (73,400 or 4.5%), Administrative, Support, and Waste Services (36,100 jobs or 3.8%), Construction (28,900 or 4.8%), and Health Care and Social Assistance (25,100 or 1.6%). Even Retail Trade added 21,300 jobs over 2012.
  • The biggest gain in percentage terms occurred in Construction with a 4.8% increase, followed by Leisure and Hospitality (4.5%), and two areas within Professional and Business Services: Management of Companies and Enterprises (+4.0%), and Administrative, Support, and Waste Services (+3.8%).
  • Finance and Insurance, Nondurable Manufacturing, and Government all lost jobs in year-to-year terms.
  • For all of 2013, job creation in California was slower than in 2012, with the yearly rate of change at 1.7% last year compared to 2.1% in 2012.


Southern California

“The decline in unemployment rates in Los Angeles County and elsewhere in Southern California compared to a year ago is a welcome development,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Chief Economist of the LAEDC. “All counties in Southern California added jobs over the year in December, although the gains varied across the region.”

Los Angeles County (Seasonally Adjusted Numbers)

Current Month: December 2013

Unemployment Rates:

  • This Month:                       9.2%
  • Last Month:                      9.5%
  • Same Month Year Ago:    10.3%


For December 2013, the Los Angeles labor market continued to improve on a year-to-year basis with the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate declining 1.1% from 10.3% a year earlier to 9.2%.

Los Angeles County (Not Seasonally Adjusted Numbers*)

  • The Los Angeles labor market continued to improve on a year-to-year basis:
  • The unemployment rate fell from 10.2% a year earlier to 8.8%.
  • The private sector added 45,400 jobs (+1.3%) with government adding 600, for a total increase of 46,000 (1.2%) in nonfarm jobs.
  • Job gains occurred in most major industries. Leisure & Hospitality saw the largest numeric increase on a YTY basis with 16,100 jobs added (+3.8%), followed by Administrative Support and Waste Services (9,100 or +3.6%), with Health Care adding 6,900 jobs and Professional Scientific & Technical Services adding 6,700 jobs.
  • The largest year-to-year percentage increases were in Real Estate Rental and Leasing (6.1%), Leisure and Hospitality (3.8%), and Administrative Support and Waste Services (3.6%). Government employment was up marginally, but there were job losses in Manufacturing, Information, and Transportation and Warehousing.
  • Motion Picture and Sound Recording:
    • Employment in Information fell by 3,800 or 1.9% year-to-year.
    • This was driven in part by the Motion Picture & Sound Recording jobs, which lost 4,000 jobs, with December employment coming in at 116,300.
    • However, for the year as a whole, employment in this sector rose slightly from 117,300 to 118,100 jobs.
  • The increase in Administrative, Support, & Waste Services was due almost entirely to an increase in Temporary Employment which added 12,600 jobs.
  • For the year as a whole, LA County added jobs at a rate of 1.6% (CA 1.7%, US 1.6%)

Southern California Counties (Not Seasonally Adjusted Numbers*)

Current Month: December 2013

Metro Area

Last Yr
U-Rate %

Last Month
U-Rate %

Current Month
U-Rate %

Change in Nonfarm Jobs

Orange County




+34,500 or 2.4%

Inland Empire




+14,000 or +1.2%

Ventura County




+5,600 or +2.0%

*NOTE: Detailed numbers at the county level are not seasonally adjusted. This may give rise to large swings from one month to the next. For that reason, this report generally emphasizes year-to-year changes over month-to-month changes, except where the monthly changes are noteworthy.

Orange County:

  • Leaders: Construction (11,200 jobs), Admin Support and Waste Services (5,900 jobs), Leisure & Hospitality (5,100 jobs)
  • Job Losses: Government, Real Estate Rental and Leasing, Nondurable Goods, Information
  • Other: Durable Goods Mfg (+4,200 or 3.6%)

Riverside/San Bernardino:

  • Leaders: Leisure and Hospitality (7,300 jobs) and Retail (5,600 jobs) and Construction (3,300)
  • Job Losses: Information, Government, Manufacturing, Financial Activities, and Admin Support and Waste Services
  • Other: Transportation & Warehousing (2,000 jobs or +2.9%)

Ventura County:

  • Leaders: Leisure & Hospitality (3,900 jobs or 11.5%) and Retail (1,300 jobs)
  • Job Losses: Government, Finance and Insurance, Manufacturing,  Construction