Los Angeles County’s largest private-sector employers combined to grow their workforce by 3.3 percent over the past year, while public-sector firms edged up staffing 0.7 percent.

Government agencies, universities, health care companies, retailers, aerospace manufacturing and the entertainment sector all were among the region’s top job creators on the Business Journal’s lists of private- and public-sector employers as ranked by number of workers in the county.

The 50 companies on the private-sector list (see page 12) together had 393,635 employees based on the most recent data available, up from 381,021 last year. The 25 top public-sector employers (see page 16) totaled 402,271 workers, an increase from 399,443.

The local economy overall generated a 0.9 percent increase in employment over the same period, adding 42,700 jobs in the civilian sector for a total of 5,043,300, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.

Oakland-based nonprofit health provider Kaiser Permanente repeated as the biggest private-sector employer this year at about 36,468 employees. USC came in second with 20,163.

Kaiser Permanente, which was down slightly from 36,987 employees last year, has topped the list for several years. Regional economic analysts said it and other local health care companies are expected to remain top employers as the sector continues to do well with a surge in service demand stemming from an aging baby boomer population.

“I’m in very good health, but I’m amazed at how much more health care I need today at 69 than when I was 29 or 49, and so I see no drop in the number of people employed in health care, nor do I see any reductions in the research around health care,” said Gary Toebben, chief executive of downtown-based Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce.

Kaiser Permanente’s employment figure in the Business Journal list does not count the number of physicians who serve members of the organization as they are employed under a separate entity called Southern California Permanente Medical Group, based in Pasadena. The number of physicians who serve Kaiser Permanente members this year number at 4,556, said Lowell Goodman, spokesman for Kaiser Permanente.

The nonprofit, which in Southern California is headed by President Julie Miller-Phipps, expects staffing to grow as it opens two medical office buildings in the Baldwin Hills-Crenshaw area in September and in Irwindale in early 2019, as well as a new school of medicine in Pasadena in fall 2019, Goodman said.

USC’s campus in South Los Angeles also remained a top employer in the county.

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