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California jobless rate holds steady in August at 7.4 percent; state adds 44,200 nonfarm jobs

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SACRAMENTO, California — California's unemployment rate was unchanged for a third month, holding at 7.4 percent in August, officials said Friday.

The state added 44,200 nonfarm jobs during the month, bringing the total to 15.5 million, the California Employment Development Department reported.

Last month's gains mean the state has added slightly more than 1.4 million jobs since February 2010, when the jobless number hit a peak of 12.4 percent.

The national unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent.

In California, the construction sector posted the largest increase over the month, adding 13,600 jobs. Manufacturing, financial activities, business services, education, health, leisure and government also added jobs in August.

Trade, transportation and utilities, along with information, posted losses totaling 8,300 jobs for the month.

The state also reported that new and continuing unemployment claims are down. There were 411,005 people receiving unemployment checks last month, compared to 426,224 in July.

Unemployment rates continue to vary greatly by region. Marin County has a statewide low jobless rate of 4.2 percent, while Imperial County has the highest unemployment rate at 25. 1 percent.

Overall, the number of unemployed Californians rose by 1,000 over the month to nearly 1.4 million. The total is 287,000 less than in August 2013.

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