California jobless rate hits 12.1 percent

California’s jobless rate rose to 12.1 percent during August, three percentage points above the national average and the second-highest rate in the country, the state reported Friday.

The Employment Development Departed said some 14.05 million people held nonfarm jobs, a decrease of 8,400 from the month before as businesses faced a weakening economy.

The unemployment level last month is less than that of August 2010, when it stood at 12.4 percent. Overall, since 2011 began, there has been a total gain in California of 98,500 jobs, the EDD reported.

California’s jobless rate is second only to Nevada’s, which had 13.4 unemployment rate during August, a sharp increase from July, when that state’s jobless rate was reported at 12.9 percent.

The U.S. unemployment rate was unchanged in August at 9.1 percent.

The unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 California households.  

A more detailed survey of 42,000 California businesses measures jobs in the economy. The year-over-year change (August 2010 to August 2011) shows an increase of 171,100 jobs (up 1.2 percent). 

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