Unemployment rates inched down in both California and Los Angeles County last month in the first local jobs report released since President Barack Obama was re-elected last week.
The Inland Empire saw a slight uptick, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday, but the region still added jobs.
California's unemployment rate dipped to 10.1 percent in October compared with 10.2 percent the previous month and 11.5 percent a year earlier.
California boosted its payrolls with 45,800 jobs during the month and a revised reading increased last month's job gains to 32,000.
Perhaps more telling, the state has now added 574,900 jobs since the economic recovery began in February 2010.
Stephen Levy, director and senior economist of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, figures things are looking up.
"The state as a whole is now in recovery from the deep recession of recent years," Levy wrote in an email. "The best news in the October report is that job growth strengthened outside the Bay Area and broadened beyond the tech sector. October was a true recovery month for Southern California led by Los Angeles County and the Inland Empire."
Los Angeles County's jobless rate dipped to 10.5 percent in October, down from a revised 10.6 percent the previous month and 12.2 percent a year earlier. The county added 41,200 jobs over the month and 57,800 jobs on an annual basis.
More than 60 percent of last month's job gains came in the government sector (up 24,900). That was followed by education and health services (up 9,600) and trade, transportation and utilities (up 7,100).
The information sector -- which includes telecommunications, radio and TV broadcasting and Internet service providers, among others -- posted the biggest losses, with a decline of 3,400 jobs.
Additional job losses were seen in manufacturing (down 1,000) and construction (down 100).
Jodi Chavez, a senior vice president with the staffing service Ajilon Accounting Principals, said employers are still exercising caution when it comes to hiring.
"We saw a little bit of a slowdown in hiring this summer and leading up to the election," she said. "Clients had the money to make that investment in human capital, but they were waiting to see the outcome of the election."
Chavez said half of the job seekers her agency places get temporary jobs, while the rest end up in either full-time positions or part-time jobs that morph into full-time employment.
"From my perspective, clients were feeling more confident coming into this year from last year than they are this year heading into next year," she said. "Things are more volatile."
Still, newly hired employees who bring value to a company have a good chance of sticking around, Chavez said.
"If a company finds that an employee is good and they start to produce good work the company won't want to let go of them," she said.
The Inland Empire's unemployment rate ticked up to 11.7 percent in October.
The two-county region added 8,800 jobs over the month and was up 7,300 jobs from October 2011, the EDD reported.
In recent months, much of the nation's worry has been focused on the "fiscal cliff" that will occur next year unless Congress heads off automatic tax increases and deep spending cuts.
But Marretta Burnett, who has been out of work for more than a year, is facing her own fiscal cliff.
Burnett had been working as a shipping coordinator for a Fortune 500 company in Los Angeles but lost her job when the plant shut down in October 2011.
And now she's facing an end to the federal aid that has helped keep her afloat.
After 4 1/2 years and more than $40 billion in benefits paid to Californians in need, federally extended unemployment benefits are scheduled to come to an end. come Jan. 1.
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