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Mary Bell

Review of Unemployment in Country

Los Angeles: “Out of Line”?

(9 March 1949)

From Labor Action, Vol. 13 No. 13, 28 March 1949, p. 2.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

LOS ANGELES, Mar. 9 – The figures on employment and unemployment for Los Angeles County are always out of line compared with most of the country. This is true because, of the constantly abnormal increase of the population in this mecca for the sunshine-seeking and the elderly. However, in recent months, the out-of-line Los Angeles, figures are more than usually out of line, to an extent which indicates that more than geography is at work.

The following table is compiled from statistics released by the Research Department of the California State Employment Service in Los Angeles. The figures, which are for Los Angeles County, include Ventura and Santa Barbara. No statistics are prepared for the city of Los Angeles proper. The figures for the civilian labor force include the employable adult population, minus those in the armed services.



Civilian Labor Force





January 1948




March 1948




January 1949




February 1949




Thus current unemployment in the Los Angeles area, which now stands at over 10 per cent of the civilian labor force, is about two per cent higher than last year. In a large population center like Los Angeles County, two per cent is no mean figure, but represents an increase of 35,761 persons out of work, while behind most of these stand families deprived of the earnings of the breadwinner. High unemployment is chronic here, but it is higher now than usual. While not catastrophic, the current figures are a danger signal.

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