SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - California's unemployment rate dipped slightly in August to 10.6 percent, down from 10.7 percent the previous month, the state reported Friday.
The numbers from the Employment Development Department are an improvement over California's 11.9 percent unemployment rate a year ago and show the state's economy is continuing its slow recovery.
The unemployment rate in South Lake Tahoe dropped from 13.9 percent to 13.2 percent between July and August, according to the figures. The August unemployment rate in the city is the lowest since December 2008, when 11.7 percent of the population was out of work.
Unemployement in El Dorado County also dropped into single digits in August - to 9.6 percent - for the first time in almost four years.
The state added 12,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August. The state has added nearly 300,000 new jobs over the past year, with job growth in 12 of the past 13 months.
Half a dozen sectors grew in August, including construction, manufacturing, financial activities, and hospitality. The biggest gains were seen in the educational and health services sector, which added 8,900 jobs.
Five industries shed jobs, including mining and logging, and transportation. The biggest losses in the government sector, which shrunk by 7,400 jobs.
The number of people unemployed in California fell by 27,000 in August to 1,935,000. But that was in part due to people giving up on active job searches. The total labor force shrunk by about 66,000 people.
A forecast released this week projected that California job growth would pick up slowly in the coming year, with the unemployment rate dropping to 8.5 percent in 2014.
The UCLA Anderson Forecast predicted unemployment will remain in the double digits through 2013, though California's tech boom has been helping the state outperform the nation in job creation since 2010.
The national unemployment rate in August was 8.1 percent. California's jobless rate remains the third-highest in the nation, behind Nevada and Rhode Island.
Statewide, unemployment in Nevada rose slightly to 12.1 percent in August, but Douglas County showed improvement, dropping from 12.7 percent to 12.1 percent between July and August.
"The trend is continuing where we're seeing job gains," said Kevin Callori, a spokesman for the California Economic Development Department. "We're continuing to try to make back up the jobs we lost during the recession, but we are at least gaining jobs."
--Tahoe Daily Tribune reporter Adam Jensen contributed to this story.