At first glance, July's jobless numbers for California and the Sacramento region look like the definition of going nowhere.
Analysts didn't see it that way, however. They said the numbers were actually pretty decent, considering just how bad things were not that long ago.
California's unemployment rate in July was 10.7 percent, the same as it was in June, according to statistics released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.
Analysts zeroed in on a 25,200 gain in non-farm payroll jobs, part of an overall gain of 507,200 jobs since September 2009. The jobs number is compiled separately from the unemployment rate and is considered more reliable.
The year-over-year change was an increase of 365,100 jobs statewide, or 2.6 percent.
"On the whole, I think it's fairly good not a barnburner, but that's 12 months in a row of (non-farm) gains," said Dennis Meyers, principal economist at the state Department of Finance. "If you look at the last three months ending in July, that's adding 38,000 (jobs) per month on average."
Meyers noted that "for the most part, we're outpacing the nation this year. Overall, we still have a lot of jobs to get back, but we're getting them back bit by bit."
In the four-county Sacramento region, the unemployment rate also stayed about the same 10.7 percent in July compared with 10.8 percent in June.
EDD said the region comprising Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer and Yolo counties lost 9,600 jobs, or nearly 1 percent, in the June-to-July period.
Jeff Michael, an economist and director of the Business Forecasting Center at the University of the Pacific, said "there's nothing really alarming" in the regional numbers and added that "there are seasonal adjustments going on, so a decline is not unusual for July, particularly in the government sector and schools haven't staffed up yet for the new year."
Michael stressed that the region's jobless figures for July were a significant improvement over July 2011, "but that's got to be interpreted with a slight grain of salt in that July 2011 was the absolute bottom of the barrel for the Sacramento area."
Back then, the region's unemployment rate was 12.5 percent.
Nationally, the jobless rate was 8.3 percent in July, up from 8.2 percent in June.
The Labor Department said unemployment rates rose in 44 U.S. states, the most states to show a monthly increase in more than three years.
Unemployment fell in only two states; California was one of four states in which month-to-month jobless rates were unchanged.