California added more than 27,000 jobs in July, but the state unemployment rate remained flat at 7.4% as the size of the labor force shrank slightly from last month's estimates.
The data released Friday by the state Employment Development Department shows significant gains from last July, when the state unemployment rate was 9%.
The largest increases came in educational and health services jobs, which accounted for more than a third of the total job gains since last month. The largest decrease in jobs came in the construction sector, which was down 6,400 jobs since June.
Throughout the past year, some of the biggest contributors to job growth have been in the information sector and in professional and business services, two generally high-paying segments of the labor force.
The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County this month remained higher than the state average, at 8.7%, an increase from last month's rate of 8.2% but an improvement from last year's rate of 10.8%
Orange County had one of the lowest unemployment rates in the state, at 5.7%, along with Bay Area counties such as San Mateo and San Francisco. Riverside County had one of the highest unemployment rates in Southern California, at 9.5%.