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California's Unemployment Rate Fell In February

Paul Sakuma / AP

Paul Sakuma / AP

California had another strong jobs report in February. New state numbers show the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in ten years, down to 5 percent from 5.2 percent in January. 

The unemployment rate stands at 4.7 percent.

The month-to-month decline comes partially from a slight dip in the labor force — about 8,000 less people were seeking employment in February, but mostly from the creation of 14,000 new jobs.

As long as we see workers coming on-board, that’s a good thing.

"We do see that those figures, especially the employment rate that has been so depressed, following the great recession, starting to come back," says UC Berkeley labor economist Sylvia Allegretto.

Allegretto says, more importantly, the state has gained about a quarter million jobs in the past year.

"Rates can fall or even increase if more workers decide they’re going to start looking for work, but in the end that’s a good thing, because our employment rates are far too low, and it’s good to see them coming back, and we certainly don’t want that trend to stop."

Meanwhile, unemployment in the Capital region dipped slightly last month.

February's jobless rate in the four-county Sacramento area was 5.1 percent. That was down from 5.3 the month before.
And it was down from a year ago, when February's unemployment rate 5.5 percent.


Steve Milne

Morning Edition Anchor & Reporter

Steve is the Morning Edition anchor for Capital Public Radio. He covers stories on a wide range of topics including: business, education, real estate, agriculture and music.  Read Full Bio 

Ben Bradford

Former State Government Reporter

As the State Government Reporter, Ben covered California politics, policy and the interaction between the two. He previously reported on local and state politics, business, energy, and environment for WFAE in Charlotte, North Carolina.  Read Full Bio 

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