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State Unemployment Holds At Record 3.9 Percent

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Sacramento, CA –While the latest local unemployment percentage figure somewhat reflects the state’s record-low unemployment rate, local joblessness is trending slightly up.

California Employment Development Department (EDD) officials say in December unemployment across the state held steady at a record low 3.9 percent, a benchmark first hit in last October’s jobs report.

Locally, Tuolumne County also came in at 3.9 percent in December with 850 out of its total 21,600 labor force unemployed. In the November report, as reported here, its unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent. Calaveras County performed slightly better in December with 3.5 percent or 740 jobless out of a 21,500-person labor force, the previous month’s unemployment rate was 3.3 percent.

San Mateo and San Francisco counties had the state’s lowest unemployment rates for December, respectively at 1.8 and 1.9 percent. Imperial and Colusa counties, well into the double digits, reported the state’s highest figures for the unemployed, coming in at 19.4 and 14.2 percent, respectively.

118-month Job Growth Streak Continues 

EDD officials report 12,600 non-farm payroll jobs were added in December. Those gains extend California’s record job expansion to 118 months. The streak, which began in February 2010, has brought The Golden State an estimated 3.4 million-plus jobs.

Even with lower incoming and increasing outgoing population numbers reported in recent years, the agency still maintains the number of unemployed Californians remains the lowest since 1989 due to earlier larger population gains. The nation’s unemployment rate also remained unchanged in December, holding at 3.5 percent.

Officials point to December job growth in six industry sectors led by 6,500 jobs in professional and business services, mostly due to scientific research and development and advertising and related services. Educational & Health Services reported 5,200 job gains with dental offices and in-home supportive services leading the way.

On the job loss side, the information sector reversed course from leading gains in November, losing 39,000 in December, reported to be as mostly in the motion picture and sound recording sub-sector. Experts express a mix of optimism and concern about the state’s labor picture moving forward into 2020.

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