City’s Jobless Rate Lowest Since Pandemic’s Start

First published in the Nov. 6 print issue of the Burbank Leader.

Burbank’s unemployment rate dropped from 10.7% in August to 9% in September, according to preliminary state data, the lowest mark for the statistic since March 2020.
The decline in the city’s unemployment rate from August to September, according to data from the California Employment Development Department, also seems to be the first time the measure has dropped below double digits since the beginning of the pandemic.
The decline appears partially a result of the ongoing hiring of school staff as the academic year began; much of the job gains in Los Angeles County last month were in the educational sector, the EDD reported.
The EDD, which only provides seasonally unadjusted data on the city level, estimated that about 5,300 Burbank residents remained unemployed in September, down from 6,300 in August. Accordingly, the city’s employment estimate rose from 52,000 to 53,000. The labor force — reflecting the estimated number of residents who are employed or looking for work — remained flat at 58,300.
Mirroring trends across the county and state, Burbank’s unemployment rate has improved dramatically since September 2020, when the EDD calculated the rate at 14.1%. While September’s estimate shows a notable decrease in the rate, the statistic remained higher than the city’s pre-pandemic figure of 6.4%. Burbank’s highest pandemic-era unemployment rate was in May 2020, at 21.6%.
The EDD’s data was gathered during the week of Sept. 12, according to the department, not long after the federal benefits expired. California’s seasonally unadjusted unemployment rate fell from 7.5% in August to 6.4% in September, but the adjusted estimate remained flat at 7.5% despite a minor increase in statewide employment.
The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate in September was 4.8%, down from 5.2% in August, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.