California adds 38,100 jobs in July, but jobless rate rises to 8.7%

California employers added 38,100 jobs in July, but the unemployment rate rose slightly to 8.7%.

The jobless rate was a slight uptick from 8.5% the month before, according to figures released Friday by the state Employment Development Department.


Hiring was up in seven sectors. Professional and business services led the way with the biggest jump, adding 15,000 jobs last month. Other sectors that posted gains include manufacturing, which added 2,500 positions; educational and health services, which increased by 6,600; and leisure and hospitality, which gained 5,200.

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The biggest job losses in July came in the construction sector, which shed 7,300 jobs. Mining and logging lost 200 positions and the government saw 3,900 jobs disappear.

Despite the uptick in the unemployment rate, California has outpaced the U.S. in job creation over the past year. Since July 2012, the state’s payrolls have grown 1.6% and added 236,400 jobs.

Last month, the U.S. reported a gain of 162,000 net jobs. That means California captured nearly one in four new positions created in July.

Although the state added jobs in July, the number of civilians employed actually declined compared to June, leading to the increase in the unemployment rate. Economists speculate that the decline is due to a drop in the number of self-employed workers such as consultants and freelancers, who may have turned their attention to finding payroll positions.


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