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Job growth picks up in April.

Natalie Kitroeff
May 20, 2016

California employers picked up hiring in April, adding 59,600 jobs during the month, according to state data released Friday.

Unemployment, which has been steadily declining, reached 5.3%, inching closer to the national unemployment rate of 5%, the Employment Development Department reported. April marked the lowest unemployment rate for the state since June 2007.

The state continued to outpace the country in job growth, adding 450,200 jobs since April 2015. Employment in California increased by 2.8% in the last 12 months, compared with 1.9% for the national economy. The state’s job growth last month nearly doubled the increase in April 2015, which saw an uptick of 31,200.

“The gain is one of the highest we’ve had in 20 years,” said Michael S. Bernick, a former EDD director. “It is a very strong time. It isn’t limited to one sector, it’s across sectors, that’s very important in terms of its sustainability.”

Some of the state’s largest labor markets have rebounded to levels last seen before the Great Recession. Los Angeles County posted an unemployment rate of 4.7%, without adjusting for seasonality, the lowest since May 2007. Orange County’s unemployment rate of 3.9% in April was its lowest since 2007.

In the Bay Area, the jobs scene is rivaling that of the dot-com boom of the early 2000s. Santa Clara saw unemployment decline to 3.6%, the lowest level since March 2001. In San Mateo, unemployment dipped below 3% for the first time since February 2001.

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