California’s unemployment rate rose back to 11 percent in March after two months of decline.
The rate released Friday was up just one-tenth of a percentage point from the previous month but was the first time since December that California’s jobless rate hit or exceeded 11 percent.
The uptick in California contrasts with the national trend. The nationwide jobless rate fell in March to 8.2 percent.
Despite the increase, California’s rate in March was still nearly a full percentage point better than the 11.9 percent unemployment rate a year ago.
The state Employment Development Department reported Friday that more than 18,000 nonfarm payroll jobs were created in March. That adds to a total gain of nearly 386,000 jobs since the recovery began in September 2009.
The unemployment rate in the Riverside and San Bernardino County areas was 12.7 percent in March, which also marked an increase from 12.5 percent in February.
That said, it was below the 13.5 percent mark from one year ago.
Government reported the greatest increase in employment, adding 2,200 jobs to its payrolls. Local government (up 2,100), specifically local government educational services (up 1,900) was responsible for nearly all the jobs gained for the sector during the month.
Educational and health services also posted significant gains in employment, up 2,100 jobs. Hospitals (up 800) and ambulatory health care services (up 600) were the biggest contributors to the jobs gained in the health care and social assistance (up 2,300) sector during the month.