California added 15,200 jobs during the month of May according to the state’s latest jobs report. This marks the fifth month in a row in which the unemployment rate of the U.S.’ most populous state decreased.
However, at 5.2 percent, California’s unemployment rate is still half a percent higher than the average of that of the entire United States, which sits at 4.7 percent. California’s employment increase in May is also fairly modest compared to the 70,000 jobs added in April.
It is believed that a decline in the number of individuals participating in the labor force— a phenomenon that hadn’t happened in many years in California— played a significant role in the reduction of the unemployment rate. Approximately 9,000 Californians dropped out of the labor force in May.
Since July 2011, California has added jobs almost every month. In the past year, the state has added jobs at a 2.8 percent rate, which outpaces the 1.7 percent rate of the greater U.S.
Los Angeles County, the largest county in California, saw its unemployment rate dip to 4.9 percent, while its labor force shrank by 3,000 workers.
The top two industries in terms of adding jobs in California in May were the educational and health services and business services sectors. Each industry added about 12,800 positions during the month.
There were five major industries that cut jobs in May. The biggest of these is believed to be the manufacturing sector, with 5,000 positions slashed.