By Ricardo Lopez
September 21, 2012, 10:49 a.m.

California’s jobs engine slowed in August, with state payrolls growing by a meager 12,000 jobs, the 13th straight month of net job gains.

The jobless rate dipped slightly to 10.6% in August, down from 10.7% the month before, according to data from the state’s Employment Development Department.

At the start of the summer, the state was adding jobs at a brisk pace, much faster than the nation as a whole. But with July’s gains revised downward to 17,900 and August’s tepid growth, economists said the slowing U.S. and global economy are beginning to affect California.

“Employers are worried about the slowdown in Asia and Europe,” said Esmael Adibi, director of Chapman University’s A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research. “They’re taking a wait-and-see attitude” before hiring, he said.

Employers across several industries added jobs, with education and health services posting the largest over-the-month increase with 8,900 jobs. The beleaguered construction industry, buoyed by growth in multi-unit housing projects, posted a gain of 5,100 jobs. The leisure and hospitality industry added 4,400 jobs.

Those gains, were offset by losses in other industries such as professional and business services, which lost 2,300 jobs. The steepest job losses, however, were in government, which shed 7,400 jobs last month, primarily in education as schools were on summer break.

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