By Marc Lifsher
March 9, 2012, 11:53 a.m.

California’s unemployment rate in January fell below 11% for the first time in nearly three years.

The percentage of jobless workers fell to 10.9% from a revised 11.2% in December, based on a household survey.

The unemployment rate was 12.1% a year ago.

The U.S. jobless rate for January and February remained steady at 8.3%.

The improved state rate was offset by a 5,200 decline in total jobs in January, according to a separate survey of employers. At the same time, the California Employment Development Department posted an upwardly revised new jobs total of 38,500 for December.

Over the last year, California employment increased by 126,100 jobs. The state’s employment has strengthened by 322,400 jobs since the beginning of the recovery from the recession in September 2009, the EDD said.

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