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Unemployment rate in Calif. below 12 percent

May 20, 2011 12:00:00 AM PDT
California's unemployment rate is now below 12 percent for the first time since August 2009.

The Employment Development Department reports the state's jobless rate dipped one-tenth of a percent to 11.9 percent in April. It's the fourth month in a row California's unemployment rate dropped.

The state added close to 9,000 jobs last month, with leisure and hospitality leading the way.

California still has the second highest unemployment rate in the country, behind Nevada.

Nationally, businesses have added more than 250,000 jobs per month, on average, in the past three months. It's the fastest hiring spree in five years.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.