Inyo jobless rate hits 13.7 percent

Register Staff
Staff Writer

More than 1,100 workers in Inyo County have lost their jobs, driving the county’s unemployment rate to 13.7 percent, according the most recent unemployment report for April, 2020 from the California Employment Development Department.
Nearly half of those local job losses, 40 percent, are in the Leisure and Hospitality sector, which started shutting down in mid-March to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. The county’s retailers also shut down, and unemployment in that sector hit about 16 percent in April.
The unemployment picture in Mono County is worse, with about 1,810 workers out of work. The state reported Mono County’s unemployment rate is a striking 22 percent. About 45 percent of the county’s hospitality workforce is out of work. About 17 percent of the county’s retail workforce has also filed for unemployment, the state reported. The EDD noted the data has not been adjusted for seasonal employment changes.
In total, almost 3,000 employees in both counties have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 shutdown.
Both counties are taking steps to re-open local businesses and ease the economy out of the nearly complete, statewide commercial and business shutdowns implemented to battle Covid-19.
About 3 million unemployment applications were filed in California in April, which pushed the state’s unemployment rate to just over 15 percent. The Leisure and Hospitality sector posted the largest job losses, with 388,000 workers being laid off.
The bulk of Inyo County’s unemployment filings came in March, with 784 local workers filing for benefits after losing their jobs. Another 386 Inyo County employees filed for benefits in April, according to preliminary reports by EDD.
The latest filings mean 1,120 Inyo County residents are out of work. The state estimates the county has a total workforce of 8,160, with just 7,070 still at work on May 22, when the unemployment report was generated. Those totals represent an overall unemployment rate of 13.7 percent.
In January and February combined, only 163 Inyo County workers had applied for unemployment.
One positive note in the workforce numbers is minimal job losses in the overall number of local, state and federal government workers. Government workers are among those in “essential jobs.” The number of government employees working in Inyo County has remained fairly even all year at roughly 3,100 workers.
The county is home to employees working for Inyo County, the city of Bishop, the city of Los Angeles (LADWP), Caltrans, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, state, local and federal law enforcement, five Paiute Shoshone reservations, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the National Park Service.
Mono County has a smaller government workforce, with a higher percentage of workers in the retail and hospitality and leisure sectors. Mono’s total workforce is about 8,170. The county’s 22 percent unemployment rate represents about 1,810 workers filing for unemployment, according to the state.