Unemployment Rates Still High In LA

It’s been a scary year filled with uncertainty and dread for many Los Angeles families. Mes amis, I’m lucky not to count myself among them. Many of my friends are still searching for work with little to no luck, though, and I wish there was a way to help. Tens of thousands of new jobs were added (or more likely old jobs added back) as of February, but that still puts the unemployment rate at a staggeringly high 11.5 percent.

That’s still a pandemic low according to the Los Angeles Business Journal, so that’s something.

One of the issues we’re seeing right now is that more people are starting to attempt to pick up the pieces by reentering the workforce. In February, 242,000 people began looking for work. Throughout most of the last year, the vast majority of unemployed Los Angeles residents were simply staying put to recuperate or look after their families. This can skew jobs reports, which don’t take into account people who aren’t even looking for work.

Probably not a surprise, but the vast majority of jobs added came from the food service industry. That’s because the more people are vaccinated or have had coronavirus, the more the city is allowed to open up. Businesses that could only allow outdoor or reduced capacity seating are slowly able to fill to capacity — and business has been growing since people have so much pent up energy.

I’m not ready to risk going out yet, but I did recently receive the second vaccination. It feels safer knowing that the risk of serious complications from COVID is greatly reduced or eliminated, but the nagging feeling that the pandemic could drag on forever is still there. Some scientists believe that the coronavirus will become endemic — meaning it will be more like the flu, a virus for which we are routinely vaccinated but still presents a huge public health threat. We’ll find out sooner or later, I guess. Stay safe and stay healthy, mes amis!