The Los Angeles County economy continued to struggle in June as 15,000 payroll jobs were lost and the unemployment rate remained at 12.2 percent, according to state figures released Friday.

Most of the job losses came from schools and universities letting out for the summer and the winding down of the federal census. According to the state Employment Development Department, private education and the federal government shed a combined 21,000 jobs in the county.

Those losses were partly offset by gains in the leisure and hospitality sector and a surprising jump in manufacturing, which added 2,800 jobs between May and June.

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate held steady at 12.2 percent between May and June, up from the 11.7 percent level reached in June 2009. The state unemployment rate fell slightly in June to 12.3 percent from a revised 12.4 percent in May, while the national unemployment rate also decreased slightly to 9.5 percent from 9.7 percent.

When adjusted for seasonal factors, the county’s net loss in payroll jobs in June was 13,400, according to Beacon Economics, a locally-based economic forecasting firm.

Unemployment in the county’s two largest cities – Los Angeles and Long Beach – rose slightly in June to 13.5 percent from 13.4 percent in May.

Over the longer term, the state figures were slightly more encouraging. While the county lost 65,000 payroll jobs between June 2009 and June 2010, that’s less than the 70,000 jobs loss figure from May 2009 to May 2010. Indeed, the amount of this closely-watched year-over-year loss has been steadily decreasing: a year ago the comparable figure was nearly 190,000.

Despite the June uptick in manufacturing, that sector still showed the largest year-over-year loss of 17,500 jobs. Construction industry job losses were close behind at 16,000, while wholesale and retail trade lost 13,000 jobs.

The local entertainment industry, however, is in the midst of a strong recovery. Motion picture employment gained nearly 22,000 jobs between June 2009 and June 2010, led by a sharp uptick in local television and commercial production.

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