PRESS RELEASE

City of Long Beach
Public Information Office
333 W. Ocean Blvd,
Long Beach, CA 90802
6/20/2017
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEPress Release # CM:062017A
Subject:
Long Beach Unemployment Rate Declines to Lowest Level Recorded Since 1990
Contact:
John Keisler, Director
Department of Economic and Property Development
562.570.5282
John.Keisler@longbeach.gov




The City of Long Beach saw another decline in unemployment rate in May 2017 to a new all-time low of 4.4%, compared to 4.7% reported in March 2017. Since City-specific data has been collected dating back to 1990, 4.4% is the lowest unemployment number recorded and published by the State Employment Development Department (EDD) for the City of Long Beach. The unemployment rate in Long Beach reached a peak of 14.6% in July 2010, and has now dropped over 10% since before the recession.

"Our Long Beach economy is booming and I'm incredibly proud that our unemployment rate is reaching historic lows," said Mayor Robert Garcia. "We have construction cranes in the air, small businesses opening across the city, and large companies choosing to grow and invest in Long Beach."

The decline in unemployment in Long Beach follows significant growth in economic development and private investment in the City overall. New development and construction is underway in Long Beach, with 13 completed projects, 28 projects approved and/or under construction, and 17 future projects proposed and under review. Consequently, the City of Long Beach has 5,000 residential units in various stages, from conceptual to complete. There is over $2.5 billion in construction and investment happening across the City.

The City has embarked on a critical investment of over $500 million in affordable housing over the last decade. Much of the recent growth and resurgence can be attributed to the City’s planning and economic development efforts, including the Downtown Plan (PD-30) and the sale of properties owned by the former Long Beach Redevelopment Agency (RDA). This is on top of strong indicators of renewed economic energy brought to Long Beach with major employment centers opening such as Douglas Park, Mercedes Benz, and Virgin Galactic along with over 9,000 new jobs created since the 2007 recession.

City leaders continue to build on recent economic successes with the Economic Development Blueprint (Blueprint) that provides a snapshot of economic trends in the City, and makes recommendations to the Mayor and City Council about opportunities for growth in key industries, business assistance, and economic inclusion among other focus areas. Preparation of the Blueprint consisted of detailed economic analysis by Beacon Economics, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, and public study sessions with industry experts. In April, the City Council adopted the Blueprint to catalyze more economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs.

As a further resource to help entrepreneurs navigate the process of starting a business, the City launched its new business portal, BizPort, in October 2016, which helps clarify, simplify, and provide valuable resources for entrepreneurs. The City’s Innovation Team (i-team) partnered with several City Departments to proactively listen to entrepreneurs’ needs, and work together on solutions.

The City continues to look for proactive solutions to attracting development and jobs, and, as a result of this focus, in the past year the City of Long Beach was named a finalist for the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation “Most Business Friendly City” in Los Angeles County; and the business community itself recognized the City of Long Beach as one of the five most business friendly cities in Los Angeles County, according to the Los Angeles County Business Federation (BizFed), an alliance of 150 business groups representing 272,000 companies that employ nearly 3 million people through the County.

The City of Long Beach is committed to helping local businesses find, train, and retain qualified employees. Hundreds of local businesses have worked with Pacific Gateway, the City’s Workforce Development Agency, to reap the benefits of hiring tax credits, recruitment services, and robust training and placement programs for workers and employers. For more information about workforce training programs and incentives for businesses to hire new workers, the City offers a number of innovative programs at the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network.

About Economic & Property Development
The mission of the City’s Economic & Property Development Department is to create economic opportunities for workers, investors, and entrepreneurs. This includes making it easier to start and grow a business, streamline the process for property development, and provide businesses with a skilled workforce. The Department includes Property Development, Business Development, and the Pacific Gateway Workforce Investment Network. For more information on the Economic & Property Development Department, please visit http://bit.ly/EconPD or follow us on Twitter @LBEconDev and Facebook.