California Jobless Rate Drops for 4th Straight Month

The California Employment Development Department reported Friday that the state’s unemployment rate fell to 11.3 percent in November, reaching its lowest level since June 2009. The decline from October’s 11.7 percent jobless rate marks four consecutive months of falling joblessness in the state, and came as a result of 6,600 new jobs added to the California economy last month.

The EDD also said it had revised October’s job gains upwardly to 37,600, and noted that the state’s businesses have created 211,400 jobs so far this year. Since peaking at 12.5 percent in December 2010, California’s unemployment rate has fallen by more than a full percentage point, though it is still well above the national jobless rate, currently at 8.6 percent.

Economists cautioned that the falling jobless rate should be tempered with a realization that some of it was caused by Californians who have simply given up searching for work, but also note that first time filers for unemployment benefits has declined in recent weeks, indicating that a sustained recovery may be well under way. On a national basis, initial claims fell to their lowest level in three and a half years last week, according to data released Thursday by the US Department of Labor.