June 20--Unemployment dropped in California last month to levels not seen since before the stock market crashed in 2008.
The statewide unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point, to 7.6 percent, the Employment Development Department reported Friday. It was the lowest level since August 2008, a month before the market crash tipped the country into recession.
Sacramento unemployment fell four-tenths of a point in May, to 6.7 percent. That marked the first time since June 2008 that unemployment in the region was below 7 percent.
California's payroll job growth, which is calculated from a different survey than the unemployment rate, was a fairly mild 18,300 during May. But as the economy recovers, the monthly surveys frequently under-count the payroll job growth as new companies are formed. The growth in payrolls for April, originally reported as 56,000, was revised Friday to 61,000.
In Sacramento, job growth for May came to 6,200. The biggest growth sector was the leisure and hospitality industry, with 1,800 jobs. While May is usually a good month for hiring in that industry, this was the biggest increase since 1990.
The educational and health services field, which includes private education, added 1,300 jobs.
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