Boeing C-17 aircraft.

Boeing C-17 aircraft. Photo by Courtesy Photo

Aerospace employment in Los Angeles County dropped by 3,000 jobs, or about 6 percent, to 51,000 between 2014 and 2016, according to a report released Monday from the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.

Most of the job losses were in aircraft manufacturing, which fell by 2,200, due in part to the closing of Boeing Co.’s Long Beach plant which built the C-17 Globemaster III cargo plane. That resulted in about 400 layoffs at the end of 2015, according to news stories.

The aerospace job losses were partially offset by a gain of 500 jobs in aircraft parts, engines and guided missiles, as well as space vehicles, due to the expansion of Space Exploration Technologies Corp. in Hawthorne.

As the report covers only up to 2016, it did not include SpaceX hirings this year or the ramp-up by Falls Church, Va. aerospace giant Northrop Grumman Corp. at its Palmdale facility for production of a new generation of stealth bomber aircraft.

The overall six-county region including Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties registered a net gain of 5,000 aerospace jobs, bringing the total number of job gains to 90,100 in 2016 from 2014.

Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at hfine@labusinessjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.