unemployment down

By Shan Li
September 18, 2015

California’s employers kept up their hiring run in August, adding 36,200 nonfarm payroll jobs and pushing down the unemployment rate to 6.1%.

That’s a slight drop from July’s jobless rate of 6.2%, and the lowest level since January 2008, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nationwide, the jobless rate slid to 5.1% in August, down from 5.3% the month before.

“California scored another impressive gain in jobs,” said Lynn Reaser, an economist at Point Loma Nazarene University. “Despite various head winds, especially those caused by the slowdown in China and emerging markets, California’s economy continues to show solid momentum.”

California added more jobs than any other state, including Florida, which came in second with a gain of 19,600 positions.

Since August 2014, California has gained 470,000 jobs, a 3% annual growth rate that has outpaced the national average of 2.1%. A year ago, the state unemployment rate was 7.4%.

The increase in jobs last month came after a robust showing in June, although that figure was revised down slightly to 80,500.

Gains were spread across several sectors. Government jobs showed the biggest month-over-month increase, with 31,300 added in August. Much of that is the result of an early start to the academic year at many public schools, economists said.
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The leisure and hospitality sector reported 10,600 net new jobs, and the trade, transportation and utilities sector added 7,900 positions. The information sector, which includes the entertainment industry and parts of the tech industry tied to Silicon Valley, added 1,000 jobs. Education and health services gained 3,800 positions.

The construction industry, which reported only 700 more jobs, has seen the biggest growth over the last year. Compared with August 2014, the sector is up 6.5% with 43,800 additional jobs.

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