Mixed results in newest Calif. jobs report


The jobs report for May is a mixed bag.

First: good news for people looking for work. California's unemployment rate fell again to 11.7 percent. That's a drop of almost a full percentage point since 2011 began. It was 11.8 percent in April.

The numbers paint a much more positive picture than a year ago when the jobless rate was at a near-high of 12.5 percent.

But the bad news: Employers shed 29,000 jobs in May, the most significant job loss since last fall.

"At the onset of an economic recovery, you're going to see fits and starts. And that's kind of what we're experiencing right now," said Loree Levy, spokeswoman for the Calif. Employment Development Dept.

A drop in unemployment along with large job loss usually happens for only one reason: some people quit looking.

"They're dropping out because they don't think they can find a job," said Professor Phil Martin, a University of California-Davis economist. "In order to be unemployed, you have to be actively looking for work."

Government layoffs continue to be a drag on California's economy as the public sector deals with shrinking budgets.

There is one bright spot: the information sector. Not only did it add jobs last month, job growth was 7 percent over the last year, the biggest overall jump.

Some may have to expand their job searches to other states like Arizona and Texas, both of which have single-digit unemployment.

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