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Santa Monica Year-End Unemployment Drops to New Low  

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By Jonathan Friedman
Associate Editor

January 20, 2017 -- Santa Monica’s unemployment rate was at 4.0 percent in December, lower than it has been in any previous December since 2010 (the earliest year data are immediately available), according to preliminary numbers from the California Employment Development Department (EDD).

Santa Monica’s December unemployment rate was 5.7 percent in 2015, 6.4 percent in 2014, 7.3 percent in 2013, 8.7 percent in 2012, 9.9 percent in 2011 and 10.6 percent in 2010.

The December 2016 mark for Santa Monica was below the national rate of 4.7 percent and also below the rate for Los Angeles County (4.7 percent) and California (5.2 percent).

Santa Monica unemployment in December was down from November (4.1 percent) and tied for the second-lowest of the year with April. The lowest rate was in May with 3.6 percent.

Since the December data are preliminary, these comparisons could change slightly once that month’s information is finalized.

There were 2,300 people designated as unemployed in Santa Monica during December, which the EDD’s website says “includes those individuals who were not working, but were able, available and actively looking for work.”

Although Santa Monica’s unemployment rate went down from November to December, the same number of people were designated as unemployed in both months.

The number of those in the total potential workforce was higher in November, which is the reason for the unemployment rate differences.

A city’s unemployment rate is based upon the people who live there, regardless of where they work. The EDD does not make seasonal adjustments for the data.

Santa Monica tied for 54th on the list of unemployment rates in Los Angeles County’s 125 cities and unincorporated census-designated areas, with No. 1 having the lowest rate.

Los Angeles County’s highest unemployment rate was in the census-designated area of Val Verde with 9.3 percent. The city with the highest unemployment rate was Compton with 7.4 percent.

The city of Palos Verdes Estates had the county’s lowest unemployment rate with 0.7 percent.

Other unemployment rates in the county of note were the city of Los Angeles with 5.0 percent, Malibu with 2.7 percent, Burbank with 3.9 percent, Manhattan Beach with 1.9 percent, Long Beach with 5.2 percent, Redondo Beach with 2.9 percent and West Hollywood with 3.9 percent.

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