September 16, 2016
California employers quieted any lingering doubts about the state’s economy in August, as an uptick in hiring helped absorb hordes of new job-seekers.
The state added a net 63,100 jobs last month and the unemployment rate remained at 5.5%, according to data released by the Employment Development Department on Friday.
Across the nation in August, employers added a net total of 151,000 new positions, meaning that California accounted for 42% of all U.S. job growth last month.
“These are astounding numbers,” said Michael Bernick, an attorney at Sedgwick, a San Francisco firm, who directed the EDD from 1999 to 2004. “Each time we think growth has to slow down, it just continues.”
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The report brought the state good news in the wake of two consecutive months of a rising unemployment rate, up from 5.2% in May to 5.5% in July.
Since last August, the state has boosted payrolls by 378,000 workers — a 2.3% gain. Despite new paid-leave mandates, a rising minimum wage and strict environmental regulations, California has managed to grow faster than the rest of the country for several months.
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