Unemployment fell in California last month despite modest growth in payrolls, state officials said Friday.
Statewide unemployment dipped to 5.3 percent, a drop of two-tenths of a percentage point, the Employment Development Department reported. However, payrolls grew by just 13,600 jobs in November, about a third as many as the month before.
Sung Won Sohn, an economist with California State University, Channel Islands, said the figures suggest California’s economy “has lost some steam.” He said the unemployment rate fell only because the labor force decreased in November.
Sacramento area unemployment fell to 4.9 percent in November, down from 5.2 percent the month before. The region’s employers added 3,000 jobs, with much of the gain occurring in the retail sector.
The Sacramento area has added 26,100 jobs in the past year, a 2.8 percent growth rate. California has picked up 377,200 jobs, a 2.3 percent increase.