With Los Angeles County’s unemployment rate at levels not seen since the Great Depression and nearly 500,000 payroll jobs lost in the last six months, it would seem difficult to find major employers that have added jobs.
But at least three major industries on the Business Journal’s list of this year’s largest private-sector employers in L.A. County have several players that have increased hiring: health care, finance and, yes, retail.
Three of the 10 largest employers added more than 1,000 jobs to their L.A. County operations between July 2019 and July 2020: Oakland-based Kaiser Permanente, Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. — parent of Ralphs Grocery and Food 4 Less — and Atlanta-based United Parcel Service Inc.
San Francisco-based Wells Fargo & Co. and security firm Allied Universal, with its dual headquarters in Santa Ana and Conshohocken, Pa., each added more than 500 jobs each over the past 12 months.
The fact that so many companies in different industries were able to post significant gains in L.A. County during this period is a sign of the local economy’s inherent strength, according to Taner Osman, research manager at Westchesterbased Beacon Economics.
“L.A. has a more diverse economy that is not as susceptible to one sector being shot down as other places are,” Osman said.
Of course, many of the largest employers in the county reported significant drops in jobs, including Renton, Wash.based Providence Health’s Southern California division, which shed 1,860 jobs, and Caltech in Pasadena, which reported 550 fewer jobs.
Many companies that have reportedly cut jobs nationwide or globally declined to respond to the Business Journal’s survey this year. Their drops in jobs in L.A. County were estimated. Chief among these were two entertainment giants: Walt Disney Co. and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., both based in Burbank.
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