April unemployment fell to 11 percent from 11.3 percent the month before. It's also 11 percent in the state, down from 11.2 percent in March (the U.S. rate was 8.9 percent). That's the good news. The not-so-good news is that the separate payroll report shows a loss of 16,800 jobs in L.A. County (and 63,700 statewide). The big local losses were in manufacturing (6,500 jobs) and entertainment (5,900). Jobs were lost in just about all the major sectors, including the normally reliable educational and health services. Here's the EDD release.
Lauren Appelbaum, research director of UCLA's Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, points out in a report that the actual unemployment rate is just the tip of the iceberg:
The unemployment rate includes only those people who would like to work and who have actively sought employment during the past four weeks. However, there are many people who have become discouraged and given up looking for work, although they are available to work and would work if offered a job. Others have stopped looking for work because of family responsibilities or transportation problems. These groups of people are considered to be marginally attached to the labor force. The number of marginally attached workers has nearly doubled since the start of this recession.
By the way, North Dakota had the nation's lowest unemployment rate in April, at 4 percent. It was followed by Nebraska (4.4 percent), Wyoming at 4.5 (percent), and South Dakota (4.8 percent). Is it any wonder we have a red state blue state divide?