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States jobless rate holds steady

Joseph Wright | 6/2/2010, 5 p.m.

The California jobless rate held steady last month at 12.6 percent, despite an increase in national unemployment, according to the state Employment Development Department (EDD) in a recent report.

Nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 14,200 in April, marking four consecutive months of gains. The state has added more than 56,000 new jobs since the beginning of 2010.

Approximately 2.3 million Californians remain unemployed. That is down 7,000 from March but still higher than a year ago, when the jobless rate was 11 percent.

By EDD studies, five of the 11 job sectors saw growth last month: Mining and logging; professional and business services; leisure and hospitality; government; and other services.

The government sector saw the largest increase, with an additional 14,000 jobs. However, most of those were related to the 2010 Census and therefore temporary, said Kevin Callori, a spokesman for EDD.

"The overall good news is that job losses are definitely slowing and people are showing optimism and getting back into the job market," he said. "Now it's just a matter of the job market picking up to meet that expectation."

Howard Roth, chief economist for the state Department of Finance, said the latest figures are nothing to celebrate. At 12.6 percent, the state's unemployment remains at a record high.

On the African American front, the numbers are bleaker. While the overall state unemployment rate is at 12.6 percent, the jobless rate of Black Californians is at 15.5 percent. The overall unemployment rate of Blacks across the United States is 16.6 percent.