LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — For the first time since 2009, the unemployment rate in California has fallen below 10 percent.

KNX 1070’s Jon Baird reports the drop comes even as the state shed thousands of jobs last month.

The 9.8 percent unemployment rate in November is down from 10.1 percent in October, according to Loree Levy of the Employment Development Department.

That puts the state unemployment rate in single digits for the first time since January 2009, when the rate was 9.7 percent.

Levy said it remains unclear how the rate dipped even as California shed 3,800 jobs last month.

“It is very odd because we’ve definitely been seeing some very strong job growth over the last couple of months,” said Levy.

Some analysts had predicted the unemployment rate would remain above 10 percent through 2013.

While the news was an encouraging sign, there remained some lingering anxiety over any possible failure to reach an agreement in Washington on the so-called “fiscal cliff”.

An estimated 400,000 Californians face the loss of unemployment benefits next month if no agreement is reached.

CBS2’s Greg Mills spoke to Mikel Harbor, a woman who took about one month to land a job at a clothing store in Redlands.

She was one of 78,000 Californians who landed new jobs last month. “I love it she says.”

The jobless rate remains high in the Inland Empire. The rate dropped from 11.7 percent to 11.3 in November.

Economist John Husing told Mills, “That is undoubtedly going to come out as the highest rate in the United States.”


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