Jobs figures released by the state on Friday gave mixed signals for L.A. County economy.
L.A.'s job picture last year was brighter than first thought, as figures released by the state Employment Development Department showed an upward revision of 35,000 jobs, or nearly 1 percent. The boost was led by an 18,000-job jump in administrative support/temporary services and a jump of 10,000 jobs in the retail sector.
Factoring in this annual revision, the total non-farm job gain in 2006 was about 53,200 jobs, or 1.3 percent, to 4,084,000 jobs. That amounted to slightly more than the 1 percent forecasted by most economists.
"In most years, the annual revision is downward, so this was a dose of good news," said Jack Kyser, chief economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.
But those same figures also showed that manufacturing employment, which had stabilized in 2005, resumed its downward slide in 2006, losing a total of 8,200 jobs, or nearly 2 percent. "The losses were pretty widespread," Kyser said.
What's more, a downward revision of 7,000 jobs in the information sector, which includes motion picture and sound records, completely wiped out gains in that sector of the economy.
Using the revised data, January's employment picture was weak, but in line with expectations as seasonal layoffs hit the retail sector.
The seasonally adjusted January unemployment rate was 4.6 percent, up from 4.5 percent in December but down from 5.1 percent a year ago. About 71,000 non-farm jobs were lost in January from December levels, a drop of nearly 2 percent. Retail employment fell by 22,000 jobs, or 5 percent, for the month.
Statewide, the unemployment rate was unchanged from December at 4.8 percent. Total non-farm payroll employment declined by 4,500 jobs for the month, for a total of 15,208,000, though it was still up 252,000 jobs over January 2006 levels.
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