California adds 11,800 jobs, unemployment rate holds at 8.1%


Employers in California added 11,800 jobs in March, but the state’s unemployment rate slightly rose to 8.1%.

This post has been corrected. See the note below for details.

California’s economy added 11,800 net new jobs in March, a meager showing after robust gains the month before, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday.

Although the Golden State gained some jobs, the unemployment rate held steady at 8.1% from a month earlier, according to the data. February’s unemployment rate was revised up to 8.1% from the previously reported 8%.

The jobless rate stayed steady because the labor force grew by 47,700. That is a good sign for the economy because more people were optimistic enough to begin hunting for work again.


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Job gains were spread across five industries, including construction, government and education and health services. Professional and business services reported the biggest increase with 3,100 new positions.

Job losses were posted by three industries -- manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and financial activities. Financial activities, which has suffered as banks laid off workers after a slowdown in mortgage activity, posted the biggest decline, shedding 2,400 jobs.

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California was among 17 states that saw their unemployment rates go up. Others include Missouri and New Mexico. The western part of the U.S. continues to have the highest regional jobless rate, at 7.2%, while the South can boast the lowest at 6%.

California gained about 6% of the 192,000 net new jobs that were added in the U.S. last month. That is a smaller percentage than the state has often enjoyed in recent years.

[Correction: 11:23 a.m. April 18: A previous version of the post said California’s unemployment rate ticked up to 8.1% in March, up from 8% the previous month. February’s jobless rate was actually revised upward to 8.1%.]



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