SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – California’s employment picture kept improving in January at a healthy clip, as the jobless rate dipped to 6.9 percent with the addition of 67,300 new positions, a state agency said Friday.

The figure marked a drop of two-tenths of a percentage point from the December rate, which was revised to 7.1 percent, the state Employment Development Department said.

The last time California’s unemployment rate fell below 7 percent was in May 2008.

Meanwhile, the U.S. unemployment rate increased to 5.7 percent in January.

The total number of California nonfarm jobs reached 15.9 million in January, an increase of 67,300 over December.

Construction, professional and business services, educational and health services were among the eight categories that showed gains. The information sector posted the largest increase, adding 14,000 jobs, while manufacturing lost 4,200 jobs.

The state has added more than 1.8 million jobs since the economic recovery began in February 2010, the agency said.

The number of unemployed Californians was 1.3 million in January, down 31,000 over the month. Unemployment claims fell to 397,142 in January, compared to 436,034 in December.

Copyright 2015 The Associated Press.


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