California unemployment rate drops, local rate increases slightly

7.4% is lowest unemployement rate in 6 years for state of California

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California's unemployment rate continues to fall, reaching 7.4 percent in June. The unemployment rates for Riverside County and San Bernardino County have increased over the past month, but have decreased over the same time from last year.

Riverside and San Bernardino counties reported an unemployment rate of 8.4 percent in June, up from 8.0 percent in May. But last year the counties were at 10.7 percent unemployment in May.

According to a release, between June 2013 and June 2014, total nonfarm employment increased by 34,400 jobs, or 2.8 percent. Trade, transportation and utilities posted the largest employment gains over the year by adding 9,900 to its payrolls. Retail trade (adding 4,300 jobs) accounted for most of the increase in the sector.

Six other industry sectors also reported year-over employment growth: Professional and business services (up 9,800 jobs), educational and health services (up 5,900), leisure and hospitality (up 5,500), construction (up 3,200), government (up 1,500), and information (up 200).

Other services was the only sector to record a setback in employment over the year by cutting 1,600 jobs. Growth in manufacturing and financial activities was flat over the year.

The state Employment Development Department said Friday that California gained 24,200 jobs during the month of May. It's the lowest rate in six years. The last time the unemployment rate fell below 7.4 percent was in July 2008.
Education and health services posted the largest increases, adding a total of 12,200 jobs for the month, while construction posted the biggest loss, with 9,500 fewer jobs.
California's jobless rate remains above the national average of 6.1 percent.
A federal survey of households shows that more than 300,000 jobs have been added since last June, although about 1.4 million people remain unemployed.
Unemployment figures also do not include people who have stopped looking for work.

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