California's unemployment rate in November dropped from its record level the month before, but nearly an eighth of the state's eligible workers remain without a job, according to the latest figures from the state Employment Development Department.
The state's jobless rate was 12.3 percent in November, down from 12.5 in October, but markedly up from the 8.3 rate in November 2008.
October's unemployment rate was the highest since the department began record keeping in 1976.
According to a survey of businesses, California has 10,200 less nonfarm payroll jobs than it did in October.
However, the federal survey of California households, from which the unemployment rate is derived, showed that 26,000 more people held jobs in the state in November compared to the month before.
Only one industry division, educational and health services, has posted job gains over the past year, adding 18,900 jobs for a 1.1 percent increase.
Among the nine Bay Area counties, Santa Clara County had the highest unemployment rate at 11.7 percent.
Marin County had the lowest unemployment rate in the Bay Area at 8.0 percent. That number was the lowest among all counties in California, according to the department.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said in a statement today that the slight drop in the unemployment rate is a good start, but much work remains to be done to create more jobs.
"The modest decrease in California's unemployment rate is promising news, but with too many Californians still unemployed, job growth remains my top priority," Schwarzenegger said.
"This includes promoting the clean technology industries and creating green jobs to stimulate our economy. We will continue doing everything possible to boost hiring, assist unemployed Californians and promote economic growth," he said.
The U.S. unemployment rate also dropped in November, falling to 10.0 percent from 10.2 percent in October.