After a nearly full percentage point increase at the beginning of the year, the unemployment rate in Long Beach fell 0.4% in April, according to state data released Friday.
In December, the city’s unemployment reached a three-year low of 4.4%. By the end of February, however, the rate had jumped to 5.2%. The rate fell to 5% in March and again in April to 4.6%, according to California Employment Development Department data.
Los Angeles County followed a similar trajectory. After falling to 4.4% in December, the countywide unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in February. But the county has experienced a sharper decline than Long Beach, with unemployment falling to 4.5% last month.
Both the city and county saw their labor force, number of employed residents and number of unemployed residents all decrease from March to April, data shows.
The city’s labor force declined by 1,800 to 230,700, while the number of employed residents dropped by 900 to 220,300. During the same period, the number of unemployed residents in Long Beach dropped by 1,000 to 10,500.
Similarly, the county’s labor force shrunk by 43,300 to 4,990,800, while the number of employed and unemployed residents dropped by 17,700 and 25,600, respectively, to 4,765,300 and 225,500.
Of the county’s 124 cities and census-designated places (communities that were unincorporated during the most recent 5-Year American Community Survey), 80—or 64.5%—have a lower unemployment rate than Long Beach. Only 39 (31.5%) have a higher unemployment rate.
Four cities—Altadena, Huntington Park, Los Angeles and Rolling Hills Estates—have the same unemployment rate as Long Beach.
Private education and health services led the countywide job gains month-over-month, according to EDD data, adding 9,000 positions. Leisure and hospitality also posted gains, adding 6,300 jobs. Trade, transportation and utilities, professional and business services, information, financial activities, construction, government, other services, and manufacturing all also saw increased payroll.
Mining and logging remained flat.
At the state level, meanwhile, unemployment dropped to 4.3% in April, EDD data shows—still elevated relative to the national 3.4% rate. According to analysis from Beacon Economics, as of April, the state recovered all jobs that were lost in March and April at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.
Health care led the state in job growth, accounting for more than 1 in 4 (18,200) of the positions added in April, according to Beacon. Leisure and hospitality also posted big gains, adding 13,100 jobs.
Payrolls decreased in only two sectors, according to Beacon, but they were minor: wholesale trade (down 900) and mining and logging (down 100).
“California accounted for roughly one-quarter of the jobs added in the nation during April,” Taner Osman, research manager at Beacon, said in a statement. “Despite all the talk of tech-sector lay-offs, the state’s economy has had a strong start to the year, adding jobs at a quicker rate than the nation as a whole.”