Los Angeles County will see modest job growth for the rest of this year and into next year, but it will not be enough to make a significant dent in the county’s jobless rate, according to a forecast released Wednesday.

The midyear forecast by the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. predicts that 28,000 payroll jobs will be added in 2011 for a meager growth rate of 0.7 percent. This follows three consecutive years of job losses, including 60,000 jobs lost in 2010.

Job growth is expected to pick up slightly in 2012, with 65,000 workers being added to payrolls for a growth rate of 1.7 percent.

“Los Angeles County’s economy is seeing modest improvement in 2011 and should do even better in 2012,” said LAEDC Chief Economist Nancy Sidhu, the forecast’s lead author. “The path to recovery seems to be paved in front of us.”

Entertainment, international trade, tourism and health care are expected to lead job creation during the next 18 months. Those gains, however, will be offset by major declines in government payrolls as state and local governments are grappling with major budget deficits.

The county’s unemployment rate will continue at “painfully high levels” for the next 18 months, according to the forecast. The unemployment rate, which averaged 12.6 percent in 2010, is only expected to edge down to 12.2 percent this year and to 11.5 percent in 2012.

One of the brighter spots in the forecast is taxable sales, which are expected to jump 7 percent in 2011 and 7.7 percent in 2012. Those increases follow a disastrous 12.7 percent decline in 2010.

For reprint and licensing requests for this article, CLICK HERE.