California adds 67,300 jobs in January

California adds 67,300 jobs in January

California employers added 67,300 jobs in January, one of the largest monthly gains in the last year. 

The state's unemployment rate also decreased to 6.9% in January, down from 7.1% a month earlier and 8.1% in January 2014, according to the state Employment Development Department.

Job growth increased at a rate of 3.2% from January 2014 to January 2015 -- faster than growth of 2.1% over the same period a year earlier. California employment growth over the past year also outpaced the nation, which added jobs at a rate of 2.3% over the same period.

The January jobs numbers are being released in March because of an annual data revision done by the EDD.

Over the past year, the fastest-growing industries were construction, at 5.2%, and information, which includes the entertainment industry and some technology companies, at 5%.

"All around, I would say this is fantastic," said Esmael Adibi, director of the A. Gary Anderson Center for Economic Research at Chapman University. "It's a very broad-based recovery and expansion."

The only non-agriculture sector to post a decline over the last year was mining and logging, which includes the oil industry.

Though the state has not yet released all the revised jobs data for the past year, a news release Friday morning showed that officials reported more jobs added in December than originally thought. The EDD initially reported an increase of only 700 jobs in December, but that was revised upward to a gain of 19,800 positions.

Economists also were encouraged that the unemployment rate declined even as more people entered the labor force to seek jobs. 

"We are absorbing people back into the workforce," said Stephen Levy, director of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy. "The state economy is in a substantial recovery now."

Copyright © 2016, Los Angeles Times

UPDATE:

10:28 a.m.: This story was updated to include additional data and analysis.

This story was originally published at 9:14 a.m.

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