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California Unemployment Falls To 8.7 Percent

By ELLIOT SPAGAT

SAN DIEGO (AP) a¿¿ California's unemployment rate fell to 8.7 percent in September and was unchanged in October, snapping a two-month streak of increases, the state Employment Development Department said Friday.

California added 39,800 nonfarm jobs in October. Gains were broad, with the construction, leisure and hospitality, and other sectors expanding payrolls. Government led the way with 12,200 new jobs.

Only two of 11 sectors shrank during October a¿¿ manufacturing and finance.

The release of September's data was delayed by a month because of the federal government shutdown. The numbers are derived from a federal survey of California households.

The September jobless rate fell from 8.9 percent in August and matched July's 8.7 percent. When the metric rose from 8.5 percent in June, it was the first increase since spring 2011.

The U.S. unemployment rate grew to 7.3 percent in October from 7.2 percent in September.

California lost 2,900 jobs in September a¿¿ending a nation-high 27 months of consecutive job growth a¿¿ but bounced back in October.

After government, education and health services posted the strongest job gains in October, adding 9,600 jobs. It was followed by leisure and hospitality, with 9,200 new jobs, suggesting that Californians continue to spend on travel and at restaurants.

Manufacturing posted the biggest job losses, shrinking by 5,600 positions.

The San Francisco Bay Area posted some of the state's lowest jobless rates. San Mateo had the lowest rate among all California counties at 5.1 percent, followed by San Francisco and Napa at 5.3 percent.

Several large Southern California counties were above the state average, with San Bernardino at 9.4 percent, Los Angeles at 9.5 percent and Riverside at 10.1 percent. Orange County's jobless rate was 5.8 percent and San Diego's was 7 percent.

Imperial County, a farming region in the southeast corner of the state along the Mexican border, had the state's highest unemployment rate at 25.2 percent.

Copyright 2011 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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