Unemployment Rate Falls, as Does Labor Force’s Size

The unemployment rate in Burbank continued to drop recently, reaching a pandemic-era low of 10.3% in November. But an estimated 200 fewer people actually had jobs than in October, state figures show.
The lower unemployment rate appeared to be due largely to a decrease of about 1,300 people in Burbank’s labor force, putting the total at roughly 57,300 in November, according to preliminary data from the

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Unemployment Rate Falls, as Does Labor Force’s Size

The unemployment rate in Glendale recently dropped below the Los Angeles County figure for the first time during the pandemic, reaching 10.2% in November. But an estimated 400 fewer people were actually working compared with October’s number.
The lower unemployment rate appears to be due largely to a decrease of about 2,700 people in Glendale’s labor force, putting the total at roughly 101,100 in November, according to preliminary data from the California Employment Development Department. It was the largest one-month drop in the city’s labor force since March to April.
About 2,300 fewer people were unemployed in November compared to October, but it is unclear how many of them found jobs rather than simply left the labor force — meaning they reported they were not working and were not looking for work.

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October Figures Show an Easing of Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Burbank fell to 12.2% in October, according to preliminary data, dropping to half of the peak levels reached in May — good news that contrasted with restrictions on commercial activity that were ordered in the last few days because of a resurgent COVID-19.
Approximately 7,200 Burbank workers remained unemployed last month, according to the California Employment Development Department, down from 9,500 (16.4%) in September and a height of 13,500 (23.9%) in May. Burbank’s February unemployment rate was 5.1%.
The joblessness rate in Los Angeles County also continued to fall to a similar level, reaching 12.1% in October.
Statewide, the unemployment rate descended to single digits for the first time since the pandemic began, falling from 11.1% in September to 9.3% in October. The motion picture industry, which has a major presence in Burbank, saw a 6.8% increase in employment, though it had 30.8% fewer workers than a year ago.

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October Figures Show an Easing of Unemployment

The unemployment rate in Glendale fell to 12.3% in October, according to preliminary data, as workers continued to return to their businesses — good news that contrasted with restrictions on commercial activities that were ordered in the last few days because of a resurgent COVID-19.
Approximately 12,800 local workers remained unemployed last month, according to the California Employment Development Department, down from 16,400 (16.1%) in September and a height of 21,300 (21.9%) in May. Glendale’s February unemployment rate was 4.2%.
The joblessness rate in Los Angeles County also continued to fall to a similar level, reaching 12.1% in October.

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Unemployment on a Downward Trajectory

Reported unemployment in Burbank continued to fall in September, according to preliminary figures, as the statistics did for Los Angeles County. But four out of 25 in the Burbank labor force remain unemployed.
About 9,300 Burbank workers, or 16.1% of the labor force, were unemployed in September, according to recently released statistics by the California Employment Development Department. It was an improvement from August’s preliminary figure of 18.1% or 10,500 unemployed workers, but still by the far the highest for city-level records, which only stretch back as far as 2010.
The Pew Research Center noted that the United States, grappling with a global pandemic, has seen the highest unemployment levels of the post-World War II era this year, and possibly since the Great Depression.

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Rash of Arrests Reported for Alleged Unemployment Fraud

Photo courtesy Burbank Police Department
The Burbank Police Department reported arresting six people for alleged unemployment benefits fraud in one day in September, retrieving 40 unemployment benefit cards, more than $40,000 in cash and a loaded gun. The department made 20 arrests over the course of the month.

Officers from the Burbank Police Department arrested 20 people on suspicion of unemployment benefits fraud in September, making several of the arrests at a local Bank of America branch.
Unemployment fraud has become more frequent since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to BPD spokesman Sgt. Derek Green. Cards from the California Employment Development Department are sent to people receiving unemployment benefits, but the BPD has reported that some are getting the cards through fraudulent means, using them to withdraw cash.
In some cases, the department made multiple arrests related to alleged EDD fraud in one day.

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Police Warn About Unemployment Claim Fraud

Since the onset of COVID-19, the California Employment Development Department has seen a significant increase in fraudulent unemployment claims. Perpetrators often use stolen identity information from national and global data breaches and exploit expedited payment efforts in the federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, the Burbank Police Department said recently.
Claims identified with suspicious account information have been closed and EDD investigators are partnering with local, state and federal law enforcement agencies to prosecute offenders.
Unemployment benefits are commonly distributed on VISA debit cards, and can sometimes carry a balance of several thousand dollars. Recently, Burbank police have made several arrests of individuals found to be in possession of EDD VISA cards in other people’s names.
To help combat the increase in unemployment fraud, the BPD has reminded merchants and retailers to check identification for purchases made with credit and/or debit cards, especially those issued by the EDD. Residents are encouraged to monitor incoming mail and “return to sender” any unexpected mail from the EDD.
The best way to report unemployment fraud is to submit a fraud reporting form online, according to the BPD. Residents can also fax the form to (866) 340-5484 or call the EDD Fraud Hotline at (800) 229-6297. Penalties for unemployment insurance fraud can include prosecution by government authorities, possible jail or prison sentences, repayment of the unemployment benefits collected (plus penalties and fines), loss of future income tax refunds and loss of eligibility to collect unemployment insurance benefits in the future.
Unlawful or unauthorized possession or use of an EDD VISA card is also a crime.
For more information, visit the EDD fraud and penalties webpage, edd.ca.gov.