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California unemployment rate rises to 8.7 percent

August 16, 2013 12:00:00 AM PDT
The California unemployment rate rose to 8.7 percent in July, the first increase since the spring of 2011, according to state officials.

June's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, the California Employment Development Department.

The rate was 10.6 percent in July 2012.

The state remains on an overall positive trend and the slight increase could be a statistical aberration, said department spokesman Kevin Callori. July tends to be more volatile because of summer seasonal employment and because recent graduates are seeking jobs.

California's rate continues to exceed the nation as a whole. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.4 percent for July.

Some 1.6 million Californians remained unemployed in July. That is up 29,000 over June, but down by 328,000 compared with July of last year.

The state added more than 38,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in July despite the increase in the rate.

Job gains were led by the professional and business services sector, which added 15,000 jobs last month.

Other industries adding jobs were manufacturing; trade, transportation and utilities; information; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and other services.

Together, the seven sectors added nearly 50,000 jobs.

The increases were offset by a loss of more than 7,000 construction jobs. Mining and logging and government employment also dropped in July, for a total of more than 11,000 jobs lost.

The jobless rate dropped below 9 percent this spring for the first time in five years, when it fell to 8.6 percent in May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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