Despite gains, California has second-highest jobless rate in U.S.
Employers in California added the second-largest number of jobs among the 50 states in October, but that strong performance didn't prevent the state from posting the country's second-highest unemployment rate for last month.
The U.S. Department of Labor reported Tuesday that California's unemployment rate of 11.7% -- down from 11.9% in September and 12.5% in October 2010 -- was higher than all states and the District of Columbia, with the exception of neighboring Nevada.
Nevada, which has been hard hit by the downturn in construction that started during the recession of 2007-2009, posted an unemployment rate of 13.4%. Michigan and Mississippi had unemployment rates of 10.6%, and South Carolina was at 10.5%.
The national unemployment rate was 9%, 0.7 of a percentage point lower than what it was a year ago.
North Dakota,with its booming energy industry, reported the nation's lowest unemployment rate: 3.5%.
Overall, 36 states and the District of Columbia recorded unemployment rate decreases in October; five states had rate increases and nine showed no change in joblessness, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said.
The biggest jump between September and October was in Illinois: 30,000 net new jobs. California came in second with 25,700 new jobs. In the last year, California has gained a total of 239,100 jobs, about a fifth of those lost in the recession.
Wisconsin lost more jobs than any other state last month, 9,700, followed by New York with 8,300 and Minnesota with 6,100.
-- Marc Lifsher
Photo: Job seekers line up at San Francisco jobs fair. Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images