SACRAMENTO (AP) — California officials say the state’s unemployment rate dropped to its lowest point in nine years last month as it continued a steady decline.

The Employment Development Department reported Friday that the jobless rate fell to 5.2 percent in May, down a tenth of a percentage point from April.

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The rate was last this low in May 2007, before the Great Recession.

California still has higher unemployment than the national rate, which was 4.7 percent in May.

The state’s jobless rate was 6.4 percent a year ago.

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The state says more than 15,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were created in May.

Nearly a million people remained unemployed, down almost 20,000 since April.

Professional and business services and educational and health services saw the strongest jobs growth.

Manufacturing had the largest job loss.

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