The jobless rate for June is way up from 5 percent a year earlier (and up from 6.7 percent in May). Whatís striking about the new report is not so much the 7 percent level (still a ways from the 10+ percent rates in the mid-1990s), but the pace of the increase. This has not been billed as a jobs-generated slowdown (or recession or whatever the heck this is), but itís looking as if the combination of housing and energy is finally taking its toll. L.A. unemployment is a tad higher than the state's 6.9 percent level (L.A. numbers have been routinely below that of California overall). And the California figure ties with Mississippi for the third-highest jobless rate among the states (ouch!).
In the separate payroll survey for L.A., educational services lost 9,200 jobs from May, which is to be expected this time of year, but those numbers weren't offset enough in other categories. Leisure and hospitality picked up 2,200 jobs, construction gained 1,000 and manufacturing was up 400. Movies and TV lost 2,300 jobs from the previous month and 9,200 from June 2007. All told, 2,300 jobs were lost from the previous month. Jobless numbers were last this high in 2003, when the area still faced the after-effects of the tech bubble.(EDD release, LAT, LABJ)