Statistics released Friday by the California Employment Development Department (EDD) put the state’s unemployment rate at 9.6 percent in February, which is a slight dip from 9.8 percent in January. That is the lowest since December 2008.
California is tied with Nevada and Mississippi for the highest unemployment rate in the nation. The U.S. Labor Department puts the jobless rate in all three states at 9.6 percent. Nationally, unemployment slid to a four-year low of 7.7 percent in February, down from 7.9 percent in January.
Tuolumne County’s unemployment rate was 12.0 percent in January and fell to 11.1 percent in February. Calaveras County’s rate was 13.2 percent in January and decreased to 12.5 percent in February.
Statewide, sectors that added jobs over February include construction, financial services, business services, and hospitality. Areas that have posted declines include manufacturing, transportation, trade, education, and utilities.
The EDD says the biggest drop in jobs from 2012 to 2013 was posted in the government sector with a 0.4 decline.