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State, Regional Unemployment Numbers Released

Keith Srakocic / AP

Keith Srakocic / AP

George Marley with the state Employment Development Department says nearly every employment sector lost jobs and seasonal cutbacks in retail led month-over-month job losses.

"We saw nine of 12 industries in negative territory led by trade, transportation and utilities which was down 6,400 jobs with 5,100 of these jobs coming from retail trade, as there was the usual scaling back of seasonal holiday hires," says Marley.

While employment in the Sacramento region fell month-over-month by 11,600 jobs, it actually grew year-over-year. Between January 2013 and January 2014, employment in the region increased by nearly 14,800 or 1.7 percent.

The lack of significant rain this winter may be helping some construction workers stay on the job.

The employment figures released Friday shows that the Sacramento area construction industry lost fewer jobs from December to January, when wet whether historically results in construction layoffs.

"The 10-year average is to be down 2,700 jobs for the month over," says Marley. "And this month we were at 2,100, possibly due to obviously the drier period that we had in January."

Meanwhile, the latest state jobs numbers show California’s overall employment outlook is good despite a slight decline in January.

California’s unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent despite the latest Employment Development Department numbers showing a net loss of 31,000 jobs.

California continues to lead the nation in its overall jobs picture. Jordan Levine is with the Los Angeles think tank Beacon Economics. He says month-by-month employment dips should be viewed cautiously.

“I always try and keep it in perspective of the broader trends and that’s kind of a more unequivocal story where things have been on the mend for the better part of three-and-a-half years," says Levine.

The EDD says the state’s unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percent from December to January.

The most job losses in January were in the retail and transportation sectors, which shed 14,000 positions. Business and professional services gained 8,300 jobs for the same period.

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