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Unemployment rate rises in the Golden State

While California saw some job gains, it wasn't enough to stem the tide of rising unemployment.

(CN) — Still recovering from Covid-19, California’s unemployment rate bumped up in August by 0.2% from July — marking the first over-month increase since the height of the pandemic. Job creation is now in its eleventh consecutive month, with approximately 19,900 new nonfarm jobs crafted over seven sectors. 

The state now sits with a 4.1% unemployment rate, above the national average of 3.7%. Despite this, California experienced the second most significant employment increase in the nation compared to August 2021 with a 2.9-point increase — coming right behind Rhode Island with a 3-point increase. All 50 states had August job rate increases from 2021 in varying degrees. Other states joining in above-average rates are Pennsylvania (4.2%), New York (4.7%), Delaware (4.5%) and Alaska (4.6%).

However, the Golden State still can’t seem to shake striking rates in more sparsely populated areas. For example, Imperial County has an unemployment rate of 16.2%- the county hasn’t made it under 10% in years. In contrast, San Mateo County, known for bioscience, computer software and green tech, is closing the gap with a 2.1% unemployment rate. 

Unemployment recipients dropped by just over 6,000, and claims dipped by nearly 3,000 over the month. The number of jobless Californians went up by 36,300, which may seem staggering but is a drop in the bucket compared to last year, which had over 540,000 out-of-work residents. 

Based on Governor Gavin Newsom’s recent legislative moves, the Golden State’s job outlook could be promising with landmark decisions such as the first-in-the-nation fast food council and a sweep of climate bills that claim to create 4 million new jobs over the next two decades. Additionally, the state has recovered 98.3% of nonfarm jobs lost in the early months of the coronavirus pandemic. 

The next state unemployment update is scheduled for Oct. 21. 

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