UPDATE: More jobless in June in Santa Clarita

Hundreds attend the Job & Career Fair hosted by College of the Canyons on Oct. 14. Dan Watson/The Signal

For the first time in five months, unemployment in Santa Clarita has increased.

With a steady decrease in joblessness since February, June saw a slight increase to 4.1 percent, according to the Employment Development Department.

The jobless rate in the city for May was 3.7 percent.

Of Santa Clarita’s 97,400-person labor force, 4,000 were without a job in June.

At this time last year, Santa Clarita’s jobless rate was 4.7 percent.

It’s normal to have a decrease in certain industries during the summer months, according to Olga Hernandez, California Employment Development Department labor market consultant.

“We do see changes in different industries,” Hernandez said. “Once we are in full-blown summer, the education industry seems to lose jobs. This happens every year.”

On the other hand, leisure and hospitality industries tend to increase hiring in the summer, including hotels, retail and theme parks, Hernandez said.

There are several reasons that could have caused the increase in joblessness, said College of the Canyons’ Vice President of Workforce Development Jeffrey Forrest.

“There’s not one variable or factor that explains the bump,” Forrest said.  “I think it is somewhat layered.”

The recent minimum wage increase in Los Angeles County, as well as changes to the health care industry with uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act could both lend themselves to this change from May to June, he said.

Also, with 65 percent of Santa Clarita’s population being older, Forrest said the unemployment numbers may be reflective of people retiring and leaving the workforce.

There are four types of unemployment, he cited, including compositional, which is when the nature of a job changes; cyclical, when there is a recession or expansion; structural, when an industry is no longer necessary; and frictional, when people change jobs.

To determine if this decline in jobs is an issue, Forrest recommends watching the jobless percentage for several months to see if a pattern emerges.

Los Angeles County’s seasonally adjusted jobless rate stayed the same from May to June at 4.4 percent. Last year in June, the unemployment rate was 5.2 percent in L.A. County.

Countywide jobs increased by 8,000 to 4,895,000 in June.

California’s unemployment was 4.7 percent in both May and June. In June 2016, joblessness was 5.5 percent in the state.

Joblessness rose slightly nationwide from 4.3 percent in May to 4.4 percent in June. America’s unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in June 2016.

The city of Los Angeles had a 4.8 percent unemployment rate last month. Of the 2,056,200-person labor force, 98,200 people were without a job.

Long Beach, the county’s second-largest city, had a June jobless rate of 4.9 percent.

In surrounding cities, Lancaster experienced a 5.1 percent unemployment rate and Palmdale experienced 6.1 percent in June.

Pasadena’s unemployment was 4.0 percent, Torrance’s was 3.1 percent and Glendale’s was 4.4 percent last month, all of which have similar work force sizes to Santa Clarita.

Burbank’s jobless rate was 3.7 percent and San Fernando’s was 4.3 percent.

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