LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The unemployment rate in Los Angeles County rose to 9.9 percent in July, up from 9.7 percent in the previous month, state officials said Friday.

KNX 1070’s Megan Goldsby reports new data from the Employment Development Department (EDD) shows 494,000 people were unemployed in July out of a county-wide labor force of more than 4.9 million.

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The 9.9 percent unemployment rate was below the 11 percent rate from July 2012, according to the EDD.

Miguel, who is using EDD career center Hollywood WorkSource for help finding a job, said he’s struggling with being underemployed.

“With the hours I’m getting, I can’t really afford a bus pass, and I need to get a bus pass,” he said.

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Laid-off Los Angeles Unified School District teacher Mark, who was also using Hollywood WorkSource, said he’s back in the job hunt after several years.

“The way they did it was they started to lay off people who had been working for 15 to 20 years, and then started rehiring people that were working for less,” he said.

California’s jobless rate statewide increased slightly to 8.7 percent in July and continues to exceed the nation as a whole. The U.S. unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.4 percent for July.

Some 1.6 million Californians remained unemployed in July. That is up 29,000 over June, but down by 328,000 compared with July of last year.

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