The Employment Development Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 9.8 percent in November, a decline of 0.3 percentage point from October.
The rate hasn't dropped into the single digits since January 2009, when the rate was 9.7 percent.
Leading economists had wrongly predicted that California's unemployment would remain in double digits through 2013. The update signals that California's economy may have finally turned the corner.
The department said California has added more than 564,000 nonfarm payroll jobs since the recovery began in 2010.
The number of Californians working was near 14.4 million, according to the report Friday, despite a decrease of 3,800 jobs since October.
"It's continuing the trend," department spokesman Kevin Callori said. "It's a respectable pace for growth and an expanding economy."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.