By Alana Semuels
May 17, 2013, 11:04 a.m.

After a few robust months, the pace of hiring in California slowed in April as employers concerned about the economy cut back on adding new employees.

In a month in which the nation added 165,000 net new jobs, the Golden State gained just 10,400 amidst sluggish hiring in the education, financial services and trade sectors. Construction was the one bright spot, adding 7,400 jobs as building in metro areas such as Los Angeles continued to boom.

The state’s unemployment rate fell to 9% from 9.4% the month before as discouraged workers gave up looking for work and dropped out of the labor force.

Los Angeles County added just 200 net new jobs over the month, though its unemployment rate slipped to 9.9% from 10.2% the month before. With a boost from the leisure and hospitality sector, Orange County added 3,300 jobs, and its unemployment rate dropped to 5.7%, from 6.3% the month before. The Inland Empire, which encompasses Riverside and San Bernardino counties, gained 900 jobs while its unemployment rate fell to 9.6% from 10.5% the year before.

Though the state has added more than 77,000 jobs this year, employers seem to be suddenly holding back, said Esmael Adibi, an economist at Chapman University.

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