Unemployment Rate in Long Beach Reaches Nine-Year Low

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The unemployment rate in Long Beach continues to decline and has reached a nine-year low, dropping to 5.5 percent as of March 2016. This rate is the same as the June 2007 rate, before the global financial crisis. The unemployment rate in Long Beach reached a peak of 14.6 percent in July 2010, and has dropped steadily since that time. Total employment in Long Beach has grown by 21,600 new payroll jobs since July 2010 and now stands at 225,100.

“Economic activity in Long Beach continues to grow along with the number of jobs,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “I strongly encourage every resident and visitor to support local businesses, because every dollar spent locally helps to create jobs, and provides funding for public safety, parks and libraries.”

The four employment clusters with the largest number of employees are:

  • International Trade and Logistics, 20.9 percent
  • Health Care and Social Assistance, 17.2 percent
  • Tourism and Hospitality, 8.7 percent
  • Retail, 8.4 percent

The City of Long Beach is also a hotbed for startup activity, entrepreneurs and ingenuity.

“Our holistic approach to economic development benefits from the involvement of every City Department,” said Michael Conway, Director of Economic and Property Development. “Long Beach makes it easier for businesses to find, train, and retain qualified employees, and firms benefit from our low-cost business license tax rate structure along with streamlined and improved City services.”

Significant economic activity in Long Beach includes a $53-million, seven-story residential-retail complex coming to Broadway and Pacific Avenue at the site of the former State Office Building; a $70 million, 17-story apartment tower set to open this year on Ocean Boulevard and Lime Avenue; the ongoing transformation of The Pike at Rainbow Harbor into The Pike Outlets, with Nike, H&M, Forever 21, Gap, Colombia Sportswear, Hot Topic and Converse outlet stores joining an expanded Restoration Hardware outlet; and the new Gerald Desmond Bridge under construction and the Middle Harbor Terminal Redevelopment Project at the Port of Long Beach.

Douglas Park, a highly successful mixed-use business district that was formerly the site of aircraft manufacturing, is home to the following success stories:

  • The grand opening of Virgin Galactic, a manufacturing facility for the LauncherOne satellite vehicle, in April 2015.
  • Completion of the Mercedes-Benz one million square foot facility in June 2015, which is believed to be the largest industrial lease in the Los Angeles area in the last 25 years.
  • Opening of the Universal Technical Institute 138,000 square foot campus in August, 2015.

The City of Long Beach continues to support local economic development with a range of programs and tools. The City’s Business Assistance Team is committed to helping local businesses meet the challenge of finding, training, and retaining 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 training. Additional tools include:

  • Business Assistance and Workforce Development
  • Small Business Development
  • Low Cost City Business License Tax Structure
  • Financial Assistance
  • Business Improvement Districts
  • Improved Permitting and Inspection Services
  • Administrative Use Permits and Conditional Use Permits
  • Downtown Plan
  • Business Services Bureau
  • Competitively Priced Utilities
  • A central point of contact that can help businesses access City services, and guide them through the planning and permitting process.

For more information, please contact Business Ombudsman Seyed Jalali at Seyed.Jalali@longbeach.gov or 562.570.6172.

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