Unemployment down in Lode

Union Democrat staff /

Union Democrat Staff

Jobless claims fell slightly for the second straight month in the Mother Lode, according to job market data released Friday.

The unemployment rate in Tuolumne County was at 11.7 percent in May, according to the California Employment Development Department, a half-percent decrease compared to April when that figure was 12.2 percent.

Unemployment has fluctuated slightly in the county since the first of the year, however jobless claims overall have dropped from 13.1 percent in May, 2011.

The workforce also grew slightly last month to 25,780, compared to 25,640 in April.

Most of the job gains were in state and local governments, education and health, and in the service sector.

Neighboring Calaveras County also saw a half-percent drop in unemployment in May compared to the previous month.

Jobless claims were at 12.9 percent last month, compared to 13.4 percent in April. Unemployment is down overall compared to May last year, when 14.3 percent of the workforce filed for unemployment benefits, according to the EDD.

The total number of workers comprising the county's labor force rose to 19,510 last month.

During the same period in April, the labor force was 19,360, according to the EDD.

Most of the job gains in Calaveras County were in state and local governments, the service sector and in industries related to mining, logging and construction. California's unemployment rate remained fell slightly last month to 10.8 percent as more people began looking for work in May, according to EDD. About 425,000 jobs have been created in the state since the economic recovery began in 2009.

The state's jobless rate is well above the national average of 8.2 percent.

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