According to a recent news feature from Orange County Register, the employment rate in Orange County has finally recovered from the Great Recession and is actually higher than it was in 2006.
The current number of jobs county officials have provided is 1,548,800. This number is nearly 3,000 more jobs than the county had in December of 2006, when employment reached its peak prior to falling off in the last major recession. Not only is the number of jobs in Orange County continuing to grow, there is a faster rate of growth in this county than the state and national averages. Specifically, in Orange County, we are currently experiencing a year over year growth in employment at 3.4 percent, as compared to the statewide average of three percent and the national average of just over two percent.
Local economic experts are calling this a healthy rate of growth and believe the current trend will continue into the foreseeable future. However, as our Orange County employment attorneys can explain, these numbers can be rather confusing and seemingly lead to different conclusions when examined in different contexts. For example, despite the overall growth in jobs, there has actually been an increase in the unemployment rate in Orange County in the past month. However, the numbers are still down somewhat significantly from last year at this time.
Economists are saying this is typical, as the economy gets stronger. The unemployment rate only includes those who are able to work are actively looking for employment. It has been suggested that many had given up trying to find employment as the recession wore on, so it is to be expected the unemployment rate would be lower than it really is, based upon the fact that fewer people are actively looking for work, even though those people would be willing to work if there were jobs available. As the economy grows and people hear about how there are many more jobs, these people will once again to try to find work and will once again be considered unemployed, so the rate may increase to some extent.
The number of people who live in Orange County will also have a significant effect on the unemployment rate. As the economy gets stronger and word gets around, more people are likely to move to the area. If people move to Orange County in greater numbers than there are jobs, this will cause the unemployment rate to go up even further. However, as of now, it seems that the number of jobs is growing faster than the rate of population growth, so this is not yet a problem.
While this is mostly good news, many of these jobs being created are new forms of employment, which were not around prior to 2006. Many of these new jobs are part of the on-demand economy, as it is called, which includes people who work as Uber drivers and other job-based forms of employment. While these workers are able to make money this way, they are often considered independent contractors and do not have the same rights, protections, or benefits as those who are considered employees under California labor laws.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 949.375.4734.
O.C. jobs hit record high in May as county’s employment market finally surpasses pre-recession peak of 2006, June 19, 2015, OC Register
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