The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County decreased a fraction of a percentage point in February to 10.3 percent and more than half a million people were out of work, according to numbers released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.
February saw a 0.6 percent drop from the previous month and a 1.3 percent decrease from 11.6 percent last year.
Both the state and national jobless rates decreased by 0.2 percent in February, according to EDD estimates.
California saw its unemployment rate drop to 9.6 percent and claims across the country were down to 7.7 percent.
Total wages earned countywide were estimated at just over $3.9 million, up from $3.82 million February 2012.
In February Cerritos registered an unemployment rate of 5.9 percent. This was 0.3 percent less than the rate recorded for January 2013.
Artesia also saw a drop in its unemployment rate number for February, which stood at 7.4 percent compared to 7.9 in January.
The county’s population decreased by more than 600,000 in 2011, according to the California Department of Finance, and increased by more than 100,000 to almost 10 million people in 2012, the U.S. Census Bureau estimates.
Sectors seeing the fastest growth in the county include biomedical, home health and construction.
The EDD projects that during the period between 2010-2020, biomedical engineering will see a 60 percent jump in its workforce; home health aides a 49.4 percent increase; brick masons and tile setters a 50 percent increase; carpenters a 48.1 percent increase.
Anesthesiologists in Los Angeles County were paid the highest hourly rate on average at $126 during the first quarter of 2012, followed by obstetricians and gynecologists at $116; surgeons at $115; chief executives at $104 and orthodontists at $100.