Long Beach Unemployment Rate Falls Again

5:00 | Long Beach’s unemployment rate fell in October to 13.1 percent from 13.4 percent a month ago, a report for the Employment Development Department released on Friday shows.

Separately, one of the nation’s largest staffing firms said temporary employment has been rising noticeably in the past three months in Los Angeles, and in Long Beach.

Long Beach’s unemployment rate has been steadily declining over the past few months, down from 13.9 percent in August and a modern-day high of 14.6 percent in July.

In fact, unemployment fell county-, state- and nationwide, the report shows

Unemployment in Los Angeles County fell to 12.2 percent in October from a revised 12.4 percent in September and was below the rate of 12.9 one year ago. Civilian employment in the county rose by 18,000 jobs in October, the EDD report shows.

California’s unemployment rate was 11.7 percent in October, down slightly from 11.9 percent in September, and down from 12.5 percent a year ago in October 2010.

Nationally, the unemployment rate edged down slightly to 9 percent in October from 9.1 percent in September, and 9.7 percent a year ago.

One of the first sectors that typically starts to comeback ahead of solid jobs creation is temporary unemployment, said Lisa Richards, regional vice president of Ajilon Professional Staffing, a Jacksonville, Fla.-based staffing firm that’s considered one of the nation’s largest.

Richards, who manages the greater Los Angeles area, including Long Beach, said temporary staffing often comes back before full-time employment because it takes awhile for employers to be confident enough to commit to bringing on more permanent help.

“We are one of the leading indicators of the economy,” she said.

Following the mass layoffs of an economic downturn, firms typically let work build up until they require more workers to handle worksloads when they do begin to increase.

“They are getting to a point where they absolutely have to add staff,” she said. “Over the last three months we've really started to see an increase for temporary need. What that means is the workloads have increased. There is a demand of some sort.”

The biggest increases in temporary hiring in Long Beach are in areas including healthcare, property management and professional services, she said.

“I’ve seen about a 30 percent increase in temporary employment needs of us specifically,” she said, adding they’ve seen a slight uptick in the last few weeks, likely due to the affects of holiday hiring.

Roller coaster stock performances, the ongoing European debt crisis, and domestic economic woes have lead to a spate of mixed news for the nation, and particularly the region.

However, Richards believes the halting progress has yielded a positive gain overall.

“It does seem it's been a little bit of two steps forward and one step back this year, she said. “Long beach was really hit, but we’re starting to see a little bit of a larger demand in temporary hiring, and remember, a temporary job can sometimes lead to a permanent position.”

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