Little Change Reported in Local Unemployment

Data Source: California Employment Development Department

Though Los Angeles County reduced coronavirus restrictions last month, Burbank’s unemployment rate moved little, increasing slightly to 11.9%.

About 7,000 city residents remained unemployed in April, according to preliminary data from the California Employment Development Department, up from about 6,800 in March. The local joblessness rate also rose from 11.5% in March. Burbank’s estimated labor force and number of working residents also remained relatively steady in the two months, increasing from 58,900 to 59,200 and 52,100 to 52,200, respectively.

Until December, Burbank’s unemployment rate fell steadily from its COVID-19 pandemic-era high of 23.9% in May 2020, dropping to about 10.5% in November. The rate increased again during the winter as a coronavirus surge forced renewed restrictions, but sank again in February. It has risen less than a percentage point since then.

Burbank’s unemployment rate was 23.1% in April 2020, and 11.1% in February 2020.

With coronavirus cases and hospitalizations dropping and vaccinations rising, L.A. County moved into the orange tier of the state’s reopening plan in April, increasing the capacity limits of many types of business and allowing bars to reopen outdoors (and, since then, indoors). The county moved into the yellow tier — the least restrictive level — this month.

The unemployment rate in L.A. County also remained flat at approximately 11% between March and April, according to the EDD, with more than 562,000 residents unemployed as of last month.

That rate was 20.4% in April 2020 and 4.6% in February 2020.

The preliminary data for the city and county was not seasonally adjusted, meaning it did not take into account regular shifts in employment such as those due to holiday periods and school schedules.

The county’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 11.7% in April, up slightly from 11.4% in March. Seasonally adjusted data is not available at the city level.

The state unemployment rate, also not seasonally adjusted, was 8.1% in April, down slightly from 8.2% in March. Nearly 1.58 million residents remained unemployed.

Many of the jobs gained from March to April in L.A. County were in the leisure and hospitality industry sector, which includes restaurants and hotels. The health-care and social assistance fields also reported employment growth, while retail and grocery jobs saw some losses.

The motion picture and sound recording industry, which has a heavy presence in Burbank, reported minor job gains in the county, but last month saw a 13.1% increase in employment compared to April 2020.

California is expected to reopen its economy on June 15, removing capacity restrictions and doing away with physical distancing requirements. Face covering requirements will also be greatly relaxed for vaccinated residents in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.