Long Beach unemployment improves to 13.1%; leisure, hospitality down 39% countywide from 2019

The unemployment rate in Long Beach stood at 13.1% in October as an array of industries continue to be throttled by efforts to contain the coronavirus, according to the latest figures from the California Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate is far above the rates seen before the pandemic—generally between 4% and 5% in Long Beach—but is an improvement from the roughly 25% unemployment rate the city reported in May, the 18.4% seen in August and 17.1% seen in September.

The month-over-month employment picture also improved slightly across the county, even in industries such as leisure and hospitality that have been hit especially hard by the fallout from the pandemic as health officials discourage or ban large gatherings and dining indoors.

The county unemployment rate improved to 12.3% in October from 15.5% in September—but is still far worse than the 4.3% unemployment seen one year ago.

Statewide, the unemployment rate improved to 9.3% in October from 11.1% in September.

Between September and October of this year, leisure and hospitality led all other industries in job gains, with 18,700 jobs added to payrolls across the county, though the industry remains down roughly 150,000 jobs from October 2019 and the industry is down a whopping 39% over the same time period.

The state figures do not break down gains and losses by industry in each city, but Long Beach is highly reliant on leisure and hospitality, which includes conventions, restaurants and tourism.

And, despite the small gains from September, more restrictions may be on the horizon as cases of COVID-19 have spiked dramatically over the past week.

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