When it comes to working in LA or finding a job, 2018 is looking very good. In fact, even when looking at the figures for last year, job growth was much higher than expected. In January 2018 there were an additional 33,500 jobs created. According to statistics from LA’s Employment Development Department (EDD) this resulted in a record low for state unemployment to 4.4 percent. What’s even more positive is that these figures were even better than those for 2018.
Historically this is impressive. According to former director at the EDD Michael S. Bernick, these figures show that LA is approaching its “longest employment expansion since World War II. Each time it looks like the expansion might end it continues going.”
So where are all these jobs coming from? Which industry is growing most? The highest growth came in construction and trade with an additional 11,100 jobs being created in the building sector between December 2017 and January 2018 and 10,800 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities. Other increases occurred in education, health, hospitality, leisure and manufacturing services.
And it seems this isn’t the end either. It looks like jobs through LA are going to increase even more and this is partly to do with the $1.5 trillion federal tax cut package in the first quarter of this year.
Thankfully, one industry that usually has work for skilled people in the industry is construction. So for those who are skilled laborers, this is a very comforting notion.
However, currently the situation in LA has been reversed in the sense that there are simply not enough skilled laborers to fill positions in the construction industry. Indeed, according to a recent survey compiled by the Associated General Contractors of America, 75% of construction firms in commercial real estate working throughout western America have been encountering difficulties filling vacant positions, including: bricklayers, carpenters, painters, etc.
With such chronic labor shortages in the region, there could be substantial negative economic impacts. In order to reverse this, it has been suggested that a greater investment is made in technical and career-industry education.
During the time of the survey, California added almost 50,000 construction jobs comprising 34,000 in Southern California. An additional 9,200 construction jobs were added in Los Angeles County according to the state Employment Development Department.
According to recent statistics from the Employment Development Department, the state of California added a net 631,000 jobs in August. Although the unemployment rate did not budge from its 5.5%, California encountered an additional 42 percent of all US job growth during that time frame. However, the unemployment rate there remained stagnant at 5.5 percent.
The industries in California that are currently faring best for jobs are: government, services and trade, transportation and utilities. For the state’s manufacturers, the rate of jobs being added was 2.5 percent.
These numbers are being backed by Indeed – the job search service – that recently launched Indeed Prime in LA in the hope of finding technical talent in the region. This is because it is believed top quality software engineers are not looking for work in LA.
Talking of “jobs” in Los Angeles, Laurene Powell Jobs – Steve Jobs’ widow is giving out $10 million to two teachers in the region to enable them to start a school for homeless and foster youth. The prize money – as part of Jobs’ XQ: The Super School Project – will be given to winners of the high school redesign competition she is funding. They will receive their monies over the next five years.
There is both good and not-so-good news for the job market in Los Angeles. The good news is that, according to figures from the state Employment Development Department, last month – for the first time in eight years – unemployment figures in LA County plummeted (from 6.1 the previous month to 5.9 percent). One reason given for this drop was “holiday retail hiring,” which resulted in substantive job gains. This is definitely a welcome change from the 13.2 percent figure of unemployment LA County encountered in 2010.
Indeed, an additional 5,500 jobs were added by California employers in November. However, it seems this figure is not to be celebrated as usually it is more. These job increases were actually the lowest one month jump in over four years and marked a big decrease from the 40,600 job gains the area enjoyed in October.
In terms of industries it seems that the best place to get a job is in construction (due to a rebound from the housing crash), as well as very high paying industries such as accountants, architects, engineers and lawyers. The industries that encountered losses were financial services, logging, mining, and manufacturing.