California's jobless rate dropped slightly last month to 12.4 percent but still remained higher than the national average, according to figures released today by the state Employment Development Department.
The national unemployment rate in May was 9.7 percent.
Non-farm payroll jobs increased statewide by 28,300 in May, the fifth straight month of increases, the department reported.
The state unemployment rate dropped from 12.5 percent in April to 12.4 percent in May, but was still higher than at the same time last year, when it was 11.3 percent.
In the nine-county Bay Area, Marin County had the lowest unemployment in May, at 7.9 percent; Solano County was highest at 11.8 percent. Alameda and Santa Clara counties also topped 11 percent in unemployment, while San Francisco's jobless rate was 9.2 percent.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger issued a statement today in response to the new employment numbers.
"While the decline of our unemployment rate is welcome news, there are still far too many Californians out of work," Schwarzenegger said. "To achieve a full recovery, there must be accelerated hiring in the private sector, and that's exactly why we must not burden California employers and consumers with higher taxes."