Calif. unemployment rate remains at 11.6 percent for June |

Calif. unemployment rate remains at 11.6 percent for June

SACRAMENTO, Calif. and#8212; California’s unemployment rate remained steady at 11.6 percent from May to June, the highest in modern record-keeping.

However, the U.S. Department of Labor reported Friday that 66,500 Californians lost jobs in June. It was the largest drop in the country, followed by Texas, Ohio and Michigan.

The federal government last month reported an 11.5 percent jobless rate in California but later revised the number to 11.6 percent.

Stephen Levy, senior economist at the Palo Alto-based Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy, called the rate misleading because California lost so many jobs in June.

“It’s not fair to say the California economy stabilized in June. California continued in deep recession mode,” Levy said. “It was a very, very bad month for the economy.”

California’s unemployment rate is up from 7.1 percent a year ago.

Declines in construction, mining, manufacturing, finance, trade, transportation, professional services, leisure, health, education and government jobs are blamed for the losses.

The national unemployment rate is 9.5 percent, a 26-year high, and is expected to hit 10 percent by year-end.

Five other states registered higher unemployment rates and#8212; Michigan, Nevada, Rhode Island, Oregon and South Carolina, according to the Department of Labor.

In California, the hardest hit county was Imperial with a 27.5 percent unemployment rate, followed by Alpine, Sutter and Yuba counties.

The state has lost slightly more than 766,000 jobs since June 2008, down 5.1 percent, according to the state’s survey of 42,000 California businesses. A smaller federal survey of households found 737,000 job losses since last year in the state.

The number of unemployed topped 2.1 million, up 850,000 from a year ago.

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