|(July 25, 2017, 9:35 a.m.) -- On June 20, 2017, the City of Long Beach issued a media release stating that 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..."
The City's release included the following:
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In our view, Mayor Garcia's quote and the release text above were fake news. The CA Employment Development Department bases its unemployment rate for cities on where people live, not where they work. The City of Long Beach has acknowledged that 64% of its employed residents worked outside of the City. [Source: Needs Assessment FY 2013-FY 2017 Consolidated Plan, p. 76 that "According to the 2006-2010 ACS [Census Bureau "American Community Survey."]
"Cranes in the air" and new businesses (large or small) are by themselves non-data in calculating LB's unemployment rate. New businesses that replace or exceed exited businesses may or may not employ people who live in Long Beach. People who may eventually live in new LB high rises (their future vacancy rates are speculative) may or may not work in Long Beach. These matters may contribute to increasing LB's general economic activity, which is a good thing, but based on the state agency's current methodology it simply isn't directly related to LB's monthly unemployment rate which was the stated subject matter of City Hall's release.
More recently, on July 20, 2017 (and with no accompanying City Hall release) the CA Employment Development Department reported that LB's June unemployment rate jumped to 4.9%, a one month increase of over 10%. The unemployment rates in multiple nearby L.A. County area cities also increased roughly commensurately: Lakewood 3.5% (from 3.1%), Bellflower 4.4% (from 3.8%), Hawaiian Gardens 4.0% (from 3.5%), Cerritos 3.3% (from 3.0%) and Redondo Beach 2.7% (from 2.5%). Just as LB's May unemployment decline to 4.4% isn't wasn't directly attributable Mayoral or City Hall actions, LB's June unemployment increase isn't directly attributable to Mayoral or City Hall actions.
Mayor Garcia's statement and the City's release text above aren't supported by the unemployment datum that was the stated subject matter of City Hall's release. On that basis, in our view the statements were fake news..
LBREPORT.com and PressTelegram accurately reported the unemployment data and didn't include the extraneous fake news. However a few other LB outlets did so and Mayor Garcia echoed it using social network channels that he operates and controls. A few weeks later, after Garcia staged a City Hall briefing for the PT and some others, a July 14 PT editorial effectively let Garcia (without dispute) credit himself for LB's low unemployment rate.
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