The unemployment rate in Long Beach fell to 4.7 percent in March, around a 1 percent drop since the same time last year, city officials announced Monday.
“Our local economy and job growth is booming,” Mayor Robert Garcia said in a statement. “In just a few short years, Long Beach has cut our unemployment rate in half and we have added thousands of jobs. It's one of the most impressive turnarounds of any big city in the country."
Unemployment in Long Beach peaked in July 2010, with a rate of 14.6 percent. Since before the beginning of the recession, the unemployment rate has dropped nearly 10 percent.
The declining rate in unemployment reflects similar trends for the city’s economic prospects, introduced by economists from Cal State Long Beach and Beacon Economics at the 2017 Regional Economic Forum earlier this month held at the Long Beach Convention Center.
Projects like the $1.3 million modernization of AES Southland’s electricity generation plants will generate over 4.7 million hours of construction-related work across the state and will contribute over $8 million annually to Long Beach’s economy, President of AES Southland Jennifer Didlo highlighted at the forum. Wade E. Martin, chair of the economics department at CSULB, said that the number of local jobs reached its highest point since before the recession.
Currently, city officials are working on plans to build on the recent economic success of the city, such as the city’s Economic Draft Blueprint.
At the request of Garcia and city council, the Economic Development Commission, an advisory board to city council, worked with the Department of Economic and Property Development to create the blueprint, which makes recommendations for economic growth and development.
City council adopted the blueprint to create economic opportunities for investors, workers and entrepreneurs.
“Our day-to-day mission is to increase economic opportunities for workers and business owners,” John Keisler, director of the DEPD, said in a statement. “This starts with helping connect local businesses with the workforce they need to be successful.”