After eight years, Los Angeles County should finally hit a new employment peak next year, according to a forecast to be released this morning from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
The forecast estimates employers in the county will add 78,000 jobs to their payrolls this year and 63,000 jobs next year to bring total payroll jobs to 4.25 million. That would push the county’s employment level 26,000 jobs above the previous record reached in mid-2007, wiping out the job losses from the recession.
But the unemployment rate will be significantly higher next year than it was back in 2007. In November of that year, unemployment was just 4.2 percent. The county forecast estimates the unemployment rate should average 8.2 percent this year and fall to 7.7 percent next year. Still, that’s way down from the 2010 peak of 12.8 percent.
Almost every major industry sector should gain jobs this year, with construction and professional services leading the way. The one exception: manufacturing, which is expected to continue its long slide. Next year should see similarly broad-based growth, with slight declines only in entertainment and some service sector jobs.
Even more good news: income should continue to grow, with county residents next year pulling in more than $500 billion in total personal income for the first time. And permits pulled for multifamily residential construction should reach the highest level since the boom year of 2006. Sales tax growth should remain at a moderate 5 percent.
The report also looked at how nine subregions of Los Angeles County have performed in recent years. South Los Angeles, which experienced some of the sharpest drops during the recession, has also rebounded most strongly, with payroll jobs up 23 percent last year alone.
The San Gabriel Valley/East Los Angeles region saw 11 percent job growth last year, followed by the San Fernando Valley at 9 percent. The weakest job growth was in the South Bay region, which gained less than 1 percent.