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East Bay Unemployment Drops To 6.3 Percent

The region adds 600 jobs as the jobless rate in El Cerrito drops.

East Bay Unemployment Drops To 6.3 Percent
Although the region added only 600 new jobs last month, the East Bay's unemployment dropped a half-percentage point to 6.3 percent in December.

The region's jobless rate had fallen from 7.0 to 6.8 percent in November as the East Bay added 4,900 jobs.

The rate dropped by a larger margin last month even though fewer jobs were created, meaning a significant number of unemployed people probably stopped searching for work.

The California Employment Development Department said the jobless rate in Contra Costa County was 6.4 percent last month while it was 6.3 percent in Alameda County.

El Cerrito's unemployment rate dropped last month from 6.1 percent to 5.7 percent.

The town with the highest jobless rate in Contra Costa County was Knightsen at 13.9 percent followed by San Pablo and Crockett at 13.1 percent.

The town with the lowest unemployment rate in the county was Clayton at 1.5 percent followed by Kensington at 2.2 percent and Lafayette and Alamo at 2.3 percent.

State officials said the East Bay added 2,700 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities, more than half of that total coming in retail trade.

Private education and health services added 1,000 jobs. The financing sector added 300 jobs while manufacturing had 200 more jobs.

However, the construction industry lost 1,600 jobs and government agencies shed 900 jobs.

Special services lost 500 jobs while 200 jobs were lost in business and professional services as well as in leisure and hospitality.

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