California jobless rates: LA ranks high in WalletHub's list of cities with highest unemployment growth

At least four Southland cities, including Los Angeles, ranked high in WalletHub's list of cities with the biggest growth in unemployment amid the COVID-19 crisis. But the company says L.A. has a unique saving grace.
At least four Southland cities, including Los Angeles, ranked high in WalletHub's list of cities with the biggest growth in unemployment amid the COVID-19 crisis. But the company says L.A. has a unique saving grace.

Jill Gonzalez with WalletHub joined ABC7 via Skype on Friday.

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On your top 25 list, Long Beach, Santa Clarita, Los Angeles, and Glendale are listed as cities with the biggest growth in unemployment due to the coronavirus. How did you come up with that?
"These are all numbers directly from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they're judging not only the changes from year to year, but also essentially from the beginning of this year until the end of March. So although these numbers seem dire, and they are, unfortunately once we get the April numbers, the May numbers in, we might see them increase even more."

How do those rates compare to last year?
"Right now, in the top 25 or so, in cities that have the biggest increases in unemployment are Long Beach, Santa Clarita and L.A. are 16, 17 and 18. Glendale ranks 22. They're all hovering around the 40% mark, which means there's been a 40% increase in jobs lost."

From your perspective what are the estimates for how long it will take unemployment rates to return to pre-crisis levels?
"We've seen the jobs lost mark hit 33 million. Unfortunately, I think that's probably going to hit 40 million nationwide before we start to get back to really getting these jobs back. If you think about it, the travel industry, tourism, the restaurant industry that the L.A. area knows very well, those jobs are just not going to be available when things start to reopen. These numbers, obviously, seem large and are large. But you compare it to places that have been hit doubly that the L.A. area, and there's one thing that really is the saving grace in L.A. and that's that it is now this hub for technologies, the Silicon Beach mindset and mentality especially to a lot of the newer businesses there, that's a saving grace right now. So those businesses, those jobs remain intact, and that's something that can be built upon as things start to open up again."

To view the full list, visit:
www.wallethub.com

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