Southern California bosses added 31,000 jobs in December, but pandemic-era business limits and a worker shortage have left the sector short of its pre-coronavirus employment of 295,700 positions.
My trusty spreadsheet full of government job data released Friday found that bosses had 7.59 million employees in the four counties covered by Southern California Newsgroup last month. This staffing level, obtained from a survey of employers, was up 453,900, or 6.36%, in one year.
Please note, this is the final job report before the annual revision of employment data for the past few years – so it is challenging to draw major conclusions about the state of the job market. But here’s what the December report told us…
History: Last month’s recruitment in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties There was an increase of 0.4% in a month from November 59,700 new jobs, or a 0.8% monthly jump. This field added in 12 months. The average monthly hiring pace in the recovery from the 2020 lockdown has been 46,000.
full recovery? Despite a marked rebound from the icy economy of spring 2020, total employment is still up 96% of February 2020, the last time the economy was not tied to the virus.
Unemployment: Southern California’s combined unemployment rate – it derived from a household survey – was 5.51% for December, a pandemic-era low, versus a revised 6.12% last month. It was 4.17% in February 2020 and peaked at 17.14% in May 2020.
partition recovery: Employment in eateries, tourism and entertainment is 835,000 – 88% for pre-pandemic staffing versus 97% for the rest of the jobs market.
But “fun” businesses – with 11% of local jobs – added 10,400 workers last month, or 34% of all hires. Last month, the leisure and hospitality industries accounted for 4% of sector recruitment and 14,300 during the rebound.
Here’s How Employment In Southern California Was In The “Fun” Job Market In December…
Restaurant: Last month, the sector was at 88% of its pre-virus employment level, while a pandemic low of 56%. Overall, its 598,300 employees were down by 82,400 from February 2020. This is after adding 7,700 in December. 10,300 monthly in recovery.
hotel: 78% pre-virus jobs versus 41% pandemic fewer. 75,600 employees are 21,300 down from February 2020. This is after adding 800 last month. The recovery is increasing by 1,300 monthly.
Arts, Entertainment and Entertainment: 92% pre-virus jobs versus 42% pandemic fewer. 161,100 employees are down 13,800 since February 2020. This is after adding 1,900 last month. 2,800 monthly in recovery.
And Hiring Trends in Other Major SoCal Job Categories…
Transport / Warehouse: 120% pre-virus job vs 93% pandemic less. 456,300 employees are 75,700 up from February 2020. This is after adding 9,400 last month. 4,900 monthly in recovery.
Retail Sales: 101% pre-virus jobs versus an 80% pandemic less. The strength of 744,700 employees is 6,300 as of February 2020. This is after adding 4,400 in the previous month, while the recovery saw a monthly increase of 7,400.
Health care, personal services: 100% of pre-virus employment levels compared to 91% pandemic lows. 1,170,800 employees are up 3,400 from February 2020. This is after adding 3,400 last month. The recovery has increased by 5,300 monthly.
business Services: 98% pre-virus jobs versus a pandemic low of 87%. 1,116,400 employees are 23,300 down from February 2020. This is after a monthly increase of 6,000 in the recovery of jobs versus 400 last month.
construction, real estate, finance: 96% pre-virus jobs vs 89% pandemic less. 648,200 employees are down 25,800 since February 2020. This is a 2,400 monthly increase after a drop in jobs versus 200 last month.
Government: 95% of pre-virus jobs – versus 86% of pandemic fewer. 976,100 employees are 55,700 less than in February 2020. This marks a monthly decline in recovery after adding 100 jobs versus 1,500 last month.
production: 94% of pre-virus jobs — versus 88% of pandemic fewer. 558,800 employees are 37,600 down from February 2020. This is after adding 3,400 last month. 1600 in recovery increasing monthly.
In metropolitan areas of SoCal…
Los Angeles County: 95% of pre-virus jobs, down 235,100 after adding 22,000 last month. recovery speed? Up to 25,600 in a month. Unemployment? 6.2% this month versus 7.1% last month versus 12.3% a year ago.
Orange County: 97% pre-virus jobs, down 52,700 after adding 6,700 last month. recovery speed? 10,400 per month. Unemployment? 3.7% this month versus 4.1% last month versus 7.4% a year ago.
Riverside and San Bernardino Counties: 99.5% pre-virus jobs, down 7,900 after adding 2,300 last month. recovery speed? 10,100 per month. Unemployment? 5.1% this month versus 5.4% last month versus 8.7% a year ago.
Jonathan Lancer is a business columnist for Southern California Newsgroup. He can be contacted at [email protected]