California Unemployment Rate Increases In August

Job Growth Spurs Drop In Unemployment Rate To 4.7 Percent

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California's unemployment increased a bit in August. 

Loree Levy, a spokeswoman with the California Employment Development Department said the spike in unemployement is unusual. 

"Here in California, the month of August, we did see kind of an unusual hike in our unemployment rate, going up 3 tenths of a percent to 5.1 percent in the month of August. It is unusual because certainly we're in the midst of a seven and a half year long economic expansion." 

The state's nonfarm payroll employment was down by about 8,200 jobs last month, totaling more than 16.7 million jobs. But it was the mining and logging industries that saw the biggest job losses over the last year. Construction jobs saw the biggest increase in jobs in August. 

Levy said job losses in professional services were another reason for the dip. 

"We saw leisure and hospitality post a decrease of more than 12,000 jobs. Professional and business services was also down 11,500 jobs. And in the professional services business, that was really the big driving engine in the beginning of the economic expansion more than seven-and-a-half years ago." 

According to Levy, another reason for the slight increase in unemployment was because of increased participation in the labor force. 

"We saw a lot of people actually come into the labor market. So, we have seen some increases there, with people getting a little bit more encouraged by what they're seeing out in the labor market, they come on in. However, a lot of them weren't able to find jobs just yet."

Imperial County had the highest unemployment rate at just under 25 percent. San Mateo county had the smallest unemployment rate with just 3.2 percent. The nation's unemployment rate is just 4.4 percent. 

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