Los Angeles Almanac Logo
Home | All Almanac Topics | Employment & Income

Employment Disaster, 2020
Los Angeles County

Bronze sculpture "Depression Breadline" by George Segal, FDR Memorial, Wash. DC.

By April 2020, Los Angeles County experienced its worst surge of unemployment since, quite likely, the Great Depression of the 1930s. For most of 2020, the county's unemployment rate remained in the double digits, something the labor force had not seen in a decade. This contrasted harshly against Los Angeles County's average 2019 unemployment rate of 4.4 percent.

2020 by Month

Month Civilian Labor Force Civilian Employment Civilian Unemployment Civilian Unemployment Rate*
January 5,210,600 4,957,000 253,500 4.9%
February 5,218,500 4,972,500 246,000 4.7%
March 4,941,300 4,664,900 276,400 5.6%
April 4,759,300 3,892,300 866,900 18.2%
May 4,665,800 3,787,500 878,300 18.8%
Month Civilian Labor Force Civilian Employment Civilian Unemployment Civilian Unemployment Rate*
June 4,839,200 3,974,200 865,000 17.9%
July 4,934,900 4,035,000 899,900 18.2%
August 4,938,500 4,076,400 862,100 17.5%
September 4,804,900 4,173,100 631,900 13.2%
October 4,945,600 4,354,200 591,400 12.0%
Month Civilian Labor Force Civilian Employment Civilian Unemployment Civilian Unemployment Rate*
November 4,931,400 4,342,400 589,000 11.9%
December 4,868,000 4,270,600 597,400 12.3%
Annual Average 4,921,500 4,291,700 629,800 12.8%

* The unemployment rate is calculated using unrounded data.

Data not seasonally adjusted. Data may not add due to rounding.
Labor force data for all geographic areas for 1990 to 2021 now reflect the March 2020 annual revision (or benchmark) and Census 2014 population controls at the state level.

Source: California Employment Development Department

Also see: Annual Employment/Unemployment in Los Angeles County