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California unemployment rises in July to 12%

California’s stubbornly high unemployment rate rose even higher in July, climbing two-tenths of a percentage point to 12%, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday.

It was the second straight monthly increase in joblessness as measured by a federal survey of households.

California’s unemployment rate was the second-highest in the nation, exceeded only by Nevada at 12.9%.

The state’s employers added a modest 4,500 new jobs to payrolls, according to a separate monthly check of businesses. Last month, there were a revised 30,500 new jobs.

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That level of growth, while welcome, is not strong enough to put a dent in California’s large pool of out-of-work people, analysts said.

“This is much like we’ve been seeing, slow growth,” said Howard Roth, chief economist for the state Department of Finance. “But, recently, [unemployment] has been going the wrong way on us.”

National unemployment in July was 9.1%, a slight improvement over June’s 9.2%. Non-farm employment increased by 117,000.

marc.lifsher@latimes.com


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