The number of people emerging from unemployment in California is making encouraging gains, according to statistics released Saturday by the state's Employment Development Department.
The preliminary August count by the agency put California's unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, a 0.4 percent drop from the agency's revised July unemployment rate. It's also 1.5 percent lower than the rate reported this time last year.
Put another way, the agency said the number of unemployed went down by 76,000 compared to last month's revised figures, and 222,000 compared to last year. An estimated 1,163,000 remain unemployed.
In the Bay Area, San Mateo is the county with California's lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent. This shrank 0.3 percent from the preliminary San Mateo figures from last month.
Close behind are Marin and San Francisco counties, which have unemployment rates of 3.5 and 3.6 percent, respectively. Both made gains from last month, according to the early data.
Solano continues to have the highest rate of unemployment in the region, but even that county's 5.9 percent rate improved by 0.3 percent compared to previous figures.
Nationwide, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent from last month's 5.3 percent.