Schwarzenegger hails job gains amid California slowdown

Other News Materials 22 March 2008 02:17 (UTC +04:00)

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said on Friday that the nation's most populous state was going through an economic slowdown, but hailed an increase in jobs in the latest employment report. ( Reuters )

California's Employment Development Department said on Friday that the state's seasonally adjusted unemployment fell to 5.7 percent in February from 5.9 percent the month before. In February 2007, the state recorded a 5.0 percent jobless rate.

Nationwide, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for February 2008 was nearly a point lower at 4.8 percent.

"While it is clear that California, along with the rest of the nation, is experiencing an economic slowdown, the increase in jobs here in February is encouraging", - Schwarzenegger said in a statement.

"Eight out of 11 jobs sectors showed growth last month", - he continued. "For those job sectors that continue to have difficulty - housing, construction, banking - we will continue to take action to spur job growth."

The state's most impacted job category over the past year has been construction, which has lost 78,500 jobs, or 8.6 percent. California has experienced a sharp increase in foreclosures and falling real estate prices over the past year.

The employment report gave the state's nonfarm payroll employment at 15,167,500, up by 25,800 from January.