For the third month in a row, Long Beach and Los Angeles County unemployment rates have remained unchanged as the state rate continues to inch upward, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate in Long Beach fell to 4.6% in September, where it has remained through November, data shows. Similarly, the county’s rate dropped to 4.5% and has remained there for the last three months.

In Long Beach, the labor force and number of employed residents grew month-over-month, according to the state. The labor force grew by 2,200 to 229,100, while the number of employed residents grew by 2,100 to 218,600.

The number of unemployed Long Beach residents remained unchanged at 10,500.

Countywide, meanwhile, the number of unemployed residents increased by 2,800 to 221,400 from October to November. The county’s labor force and number of employed residents, meanwhile, increased by 50,100 and 47,200, respectively, to 4,949,900 and 4,728,400.

While the state’s unemployment rate has grown from 3.7% in September to 4% last month, the number of employed residents has also grown and has now surpassed pre-pandemic levels, according to an analysis from Beacon Economics.

There are now 60,700 more people employed statewide compared to February 2020, Beacon announced Friday. The state’s labor force, however, has contracted, the company stated.

“While the state’s payrolls are now in expansion mode, many communities continue to struggle to find workers, especially in coastal areas of the state,” Taner Osman, research manager at Beacon and the UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting. “The lack of affordable housing along the coast is the primary constraint holding back job expansion.”

In LA County and Long Beach, trade, transportation and utilities led the month-over-month growth, adding 11,500 jobs, according to the EDD. The retail sector added 8,700 jobs, which is typical of the holiday season.

Two sectors contracted in November: construction, down by 900 jobs, and other services, down by 300 jobs. Mining and logging remained unchanged.

Brandon Richardson is a reporter and photojournalist for the Long Beach Post and Long Beach Business Journal.