Unemployment remained unchanged at 9.8 percent in California and Sacramento last month, state officials said today.
The December jobs report by the Employment Development Department suggests the economy was in a state of flux after several months of growth.
On the statewide level, payrolls actually shrank by 17,500 jobs during the month, the EDD said.
But one leading California economist, Stephen Levy, called that figure "implausible" and said it's likely the number will be revised next month.
In an email, Levy said the state continues to ride "a surge in technology jobs, a rebound in tourism and rising construction levels." But it's also getting hurt by "uncertainties in the national economy aruond fiscal challenges and the slower world economy growth."
Over the past year, California has added 225,900 jobs, a gain of 1.6 percent. "The state's job growth has slightly outpaced the national gains," said Levy, head of Palo Alto's Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy.
In greater Sacramento, the jobless rate remained steady at 9.8 percent for the third straight month. Payrolls fell by 1,500 jobs, with seasonal trends a big part of the picture. The construction sector lost 1,600 jobs by itself.