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Construction helps hammer down jobless rate to lowest level since October 2008

Construction helps hammer down jobless rate to lowest level since October 2008

California’s jobless rate dropped to 8.6% in May, the lowest level in almost five years – and the 10th-consecutive month of lower or unchanged rates.

The state’s jobless rate was 9.0% in April and 10.7% in May 2012, according to the Employment Development Department. It’s the lowest rate since October 2008.

California added 10,800 jobs in May, and 767,200 since the recovery started in February 2010.

About 1.61 million Californians were jobless last month – or at least collecting unemployment benefits – the fewest since November 2008, according to the closely watched monthly report.

The professional and businesses services category has added 73,400 jobs during the past year, the most among the seven categories with gains. Construction added 38,500 jobs, a 6.6% increase from a year ago, the largest percentage gain.

Manufacturing, once considered a bright point in the state’s anemic recovery, continues to struggle recently, losing 8,000 jobs during the past year.

Again, the Bay Area boasts the best job market, with Marin County at 4.5%, followed by San Mateo County at 4.9%. San Francisco and Napa counties reported jobless rates of 5.2% and 5.3%, respectively.

Agriculture-dependent Imperial County has the highest jobless rate in the sate at 22.8%.

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