Higher even than long-time laggard Nevada. January's jobless rate was unchanged at 9.8 percent, which is the same level as Rhode Island. Nevada fell to 9.7 percent. The California employment picture, which was outpacing the nation for much of 2012, has been deteriorating in recent months, with only 1,700 payroll jobs added in January. That's a paltry performance considering that 254,900 positions were created since January of 2012. Unfortunately, the snapshot is a bit murky because this time of year state and county numbers lag the national stats - all part of the annual benchmark process during which employment results are fine-tuned from the previous 12 months. County figures for January are due out on Friday and February's data will be released on March 29. In their most recent report, UCLA Anderson economists expect sluggish payroll growth in 2013, though the picture should improve next year. The state unemployment rate is unlikely to fall much further in 2013, but it should fall to the mid-8's in 2014 - still lagging the national rate. In a nutshell, the economy is doing all right - it's just not growing all that fast. Here's the BLS release.
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