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California Jobless Rate Increases To 8.9 Percent

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Job seekers wait in line (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Job seekers wait in line (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California’s unemployment rate rose to 8.9 percent in August, the second consecutive monthly increase, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.

The figure represents an increase of two-tenths of a percentage point from July. The rate is up nearly a half-percent since June, when it was 8.5 percent.

When the unemployment rate rose in July, it was the first increase since spring 2011.

The jobless rate had been in double digits and was among the highest in the country during the recession. It fell to 8.6 percent in May, which was the first time it had been below 9 percent in five years. Since then, it has been edging back up.

The department says more than 1.6 million people remain unemployed, up 23,000 over July.

California’s jobless rate remains higher than the national average of 7.3 percent.

Despite the climbing rate, the state said 29,100 jobs were created last month. That continues a positive trend that has seen 826,500 jobs created since the recovery began in February 2010. Since August 2012 the state has seen an increase of 223,900 jobs, up 1.5 percent.

Construction posted the largest increase since July, adding 7,700 jobs.

Two categories dropped a combined 5,000 jobs last month. They were the trade, transportation and utilities industry, and the information industry.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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