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.
"Looking at the past 12 months California has slightly outpaced the nation in job growth, which is expected to continue in 2013," he said. "While the state benefits from a surge in technology jobs, a rebound in tourism and rising construction levels, California's growth is still tied to the uncertainties in the national economy around fiscal challenges and the slower world economy growth."
Mining and logging, manufacturing, government and other services have continued to see falling job numbers over the last year, losing more than 51,000 jobs, the state report said. Government lost the highest number of jobs, about 31,500 in the last year.