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Calif. Unemployment Hits Lowest Rate Since Late 2000

Kathryn Decker / Flickr

Kathryn Decker / Flickr

California added just enough jobs in May to erase the nearly 18,000 the state lost the month before.

California’s unemployment rate is now a record-low 4.7 percent – tying the state’s previous low point at the end of the year 2000.

But the state’s civilian labor force dropped by 23,000 -- meaning that’s how many Californians left the workforce. That is, they stopped looking for work.

The numbers reflect the fact that the state is now essentially at – or near – full employment, and there isn’t a lot of room for the economy to grow.

For example, the tech industry has helped power California’s economic growth in recent years. But the “professional, scientific and technical services” sector remained flat from April to May.

Meanwhile, the four-county Sacramento region has added 15,000 jobs over the last year, and its unemployment rate has dropped about a half a point.

Ben Adler

Capitol Bureau Chief

Capitol Bureau Chief Ben Adler first became a public radio listener in the car on his way to preschool – though not necessarily by choice. Now, he leads Capital Public Radio’s state Capitol coverage, which airs on NPR stations across California.  Read Full Bio 

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