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California jobless rate steady at 9.8 percent

  • In this Nov. 16, 2012 photo, construction worker Elabert Salazar works on a house frame for a new home in Chula Vista, Calif. California's jobless rate dipped below 10 percent last month for the first time since the recession began. The 9.8 percent unemployment rate reported Friday, Dec. 21, 2012 by the Employment Development Department is down from 10.1 percent in October. The last time the unemployment rate was in single digits was in January 2009, when the number was 9.7 percent. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

SACRAMENTO — California's jobless rate remained at 9.8 percent in December, the same rate as in November, the state Employment Development Department said Friday, holding steady after dropping below 10 percent in November for the first time since the beginning of the recession.

EDD said 1.8 million Californians were unemployed in December, slightly below the previous month but down by 255,000 since December of 2011. The unemployment rate then was 11.2 percent.

The department said construction, information, and educational and health services fields showed the biggest job gains between November and December.

Still, the department's surveys showed that nonfarm payroll jobs decreased by 17,500 during December, demonstrating the continued volatility in the labor market, said economist Steven Levy of the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy.

He said the state has made important gains since a year ago as its economy continues to rebound.


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