Butte County unemployment up but state dipped slightly

There was a slight decrease in the number of people working in Butte County in December. The Employment Development Department said the December unemployment rate was 12.6%, up from November but below the year ago estimate of 13.9%. Statewide, the rate was 11.1%. Nonfarm payroll jobs increased by 10,700 last month, for a total gain of 240,300 jobs in 2011. Officials at the Employment Development Department said Friday’s report shows California is continuing a gradual economic improvement. The biggest growth came in areas of construction, information, professional and business services, educational and health services and government. Meanwhile, areas including mining, manufacturing, transportation, financial activities and hospitality all reported job losses. California remains above the national jobless rate of 8.5 percent. California’s unemployment rate was near 12 percent for months and has been above 11 percent since 2009. The state’s rate fell to 11.3 percent in November, the lowest since May 2009.

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