The state jobless rate in November was 11.3 percent, down from 11.7 percent the previous month and 12.5 percent in November 2010. L.A. County also saw a sizable drop, to 11.9 percent from 12.2 percent in October and 13 percent a year earlier. These numbers are still high, but the trendline is clearly improving. The question, of course, is whether these declines reflect a pickup in hiring or a pickup in the number of people who have given up looking for work. Which leads us to the not-so-great news: The separate payroll survey shows the addition of just 6,600 jobs statewide during the month, although the October numbers were revised upward by 12,000, to 37,600. In L.A. County, the gain was 10,400 (much of that coming from retail hires).
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