November saw a big drop, with the state unemployment rate falling to 9.8 percent, down from 10.1 percent the month before - and 11.3 percent in November 2011. This is the first time since January 2009 that the rate has been under 10 percent - ahead of what many economists had been expecting. Still, the state has the third-highest jobless rate in the country, behind Nevada and Rhode Island, and the separate payroll survey showed a loss of 3,800 jobs in November. That reverses a trend of job gains in previous months and is bound to raise questions about whether the drop in unemployment reflects an improved economy or the fact that more Californians have given up looking for work. It's probably a bit of both. Anyway, here's the BLS release. L.A. numbers due out later this morning.
*Update: L.A. County's unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in November, down from 10.5 percent the month before. The payroll survey showed a gain of 17,400 jobs, much of it in retail-related businesses.