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California adds 36,300 jobs in August as unemployment rate falls slightly to 6.1 percent


SACRAMENTO, California — California's unemployment rate dropped to 6.1 percent in August, down slightly from 6.2 percent in July, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The state added 36,300 nonfarm jobs last month but the increase wasn't as strong as the 80,400 jobs added in July.

California's jobless rate remains above the national average of 5.1 percent in August.

The state employment agency reported there are roughly 17.9 million Californians holding jobs while another 1.2 million are unemployed. The numbers are based on federal and state surveys of employers and households, but don't take into account people who have stopped looking for work.

Seven of 11 employment classifications saw job gains, including construction, transportation, financial activities, educational and health services, leisure and hospitality and government.

The four areas that reported job losses include mining and logging, manufacturing, professional and business services and one category labeled "other services."

The state has added more than 2 million jobs since California's recovery began in February 2010, according to EDD.

State unemployment is now the lowest it's been since January 2008. A year ago, California's jobless rate was 7.4 percent.

The number of people receiving unemployment benefits dropped as well. EDD reported 367,255 people receiving unemployment checks in August, compared to 377,940 in July.

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