California’s unemployment rate fell to 6.3 percent in June despite a moderation in job growth, state officials reported Friday.
The Employment Development Department said the jobless rate fell a tenth of a percentage point from May, reflecting a steady but not stellar improvement in the job market. The new unemployment rate matches April’s and is the lowest since the economy began slipping into recession in February 2008.
Employers added 22,900 jobs in June, or about half as many as in May.
“June job growth was slower than in May but continued the pattern of steady moderate growth,” said Stephen Levy of the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in a note to reporters.
Sung Won Sohn, economist at CSU Channel Islands, noted that 17,000 Californians re-entered the labor force last month, a sign of economic vitality.
Meanwhile, Sacramento-area unemployment inched up to 5.7 percent in June, an increase of a tenth of a point, the EDD said.
The increase in unemployment came despite a gain of 5,500 jobs during the month. The leisure and hospitality sector was the leading job producer in June, adding 3,300 jobs. The professional and business services sector, which takes in a wide swath of the economy, added 1,000 jobs.
The region has now added 19,500 jobs in the past year, a 2.1 percent gain.
California’s job growth for the past year totals 461,800, a gain of 3 percent.