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Entertainment jobs are up 17.2% from year ago, report says.

May 22, 2010|By Zain Shauk

Unemployment rates fell in Glendale and Burbank as California employers added jobs for the fourth straight month, according to a report released Friday by the Economic Development Department.

The jobless rate in Glendale fell from 10.7% in March to 10.4% in April, while also decreasing 0.3% in Burbank to 9.7%, according to the report.

Countywide, the unemployment rate held steady in April at 12.3% as employers added 20,000 new jobs, drawing 19,000 new job-seekers into the workforce, according to the department.


The unemployment rate in California was also unchanged from the month prior, holding at 12.6%, while companies added 76,000 jobs and 69,000 people started looking for jobs, according to the report.

The changes show that unemployed Californians and employers are gaining confidence about economic conditions, said Jack Kyser, chief economist of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation.

“It indicates that a lot of people who had dropped out of the labor force are getting back into the labor force,” Kyser said.

Positive trends in entertainment industry employment played a role in bringing a boost to the region, where major motion picture and television studios and their contractors do business, Kyser said.

Although county employment shrank by 200 jobs in the motion picture and sound-recording sector between March and April, the current total of 135,200 industry jobs is up 17.2% from a year ago, according to the report.

Those figures do not account for independent contractors who work in the industry and could have also experienced job growth.

“Most important for Burbank is that you’re seeing solid year-to-year gains in motion picture an TV employment,” Kyser said. “This showed up in January and has continued in April so that’s a piece of good news for the area.”

The jump in job-seekers was evident at the Verdugo Jobs Center, said Don Nakamoto, labor market specialist for the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board. The board provides job training and counseling for people in Glendale and Burbank.

“Just within the Verdugo Jobs Center we’re starting to see more full-time jobs available so I think that’s probably playing out in the overall economy,” Nakamoto said.

Some employment sectors experienced declines in job numbers, including retail, which accounts for a large portion of employment in Glendale, Kyser said.

Although overall economic trends appear to be positive, future changes in employment may largely depend on the confidence of employers and how that will be influenced by the global economy, Nakamoto said.

“We’ll have to just see how things play out in future months,” he said. “There’s a lot of issues right now with the European economy and no one’s really certain what type of impact that’s going to have and if that could eventually slow down the global economy.”

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