Los Angeles County’s jobless rate was 11.3%, while the national average for March was 8.5%, state Employment Development Department spokesman Kevin Callori said.
While unemployment has gone up in Glendale, Burbank and California in general, the jumps in joblessness mirror an upward trend nationwide, he said.
“It’s kind of part of the recession that’s being seen across the country,” he said. “There’s a total of 46 states that saw their unemployment rates rise in March, so it’s definitely something that’s happening all across the country.”
There was some positive news among the state’s historic figures, Callori said.
“The job losses in payroll jobs were the smallest in March than they’ve been any time over the last five months, so hopefully the job losses are going to slow,” he said.
Educational and health services was the only non-agricultural employment sector that showed job gains over the last 12 months, although the entertainment industry did grow by about 10,000 jobs in March, he said.
Those job gains, in an industry that is heavily rooted in Glendale and Burbank, may have helped make up for thousands of entertainment-related layoffs that took place leading up to the start of 2009, said Don Nakamoto, labor market specialist for the Verdugo Workforce Investment Board, which oversees the Verdugo Job Center.
Growth in the entertainment industry, which could be spurred if a contract dispute between the Screen Actors Guild and major studios is resolved, could help lower the jobless rates in the region, Nakamoto said.
“Glendale and Burbank are so dependent on the health of the entertainment industry and that should provide a boost, actually, to the whole economy, once things pick up a little bit,” he said.