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Inflation undercutting California’s economic recovery

Flickr / Creative Commons

Those were the main takeaways from a Friday report from the state Employment Development Department, which pinpointed California's January unemployment rate at nearly six percent -- the same as its December rate, which was revised down from six-and-a-half percent due to updated figures showing sizable job gains that month. Other key takeaways:

California saw about a seven-and-a-half percent increase in job gains from January 2021 to January 2022, about three percent more than the national average.

The state has regained more than 80 percent of the nearly 2.8 million jobs lost in the first two months of the pandemic -- more than previously projected.

Gov. Gavin Newsom, who lauded California's economic prowess in last week's State of the State speech, said the report was evidence that the state's COVID-19 restrictions worked.

But there's still a long way to go: California tied with Nevada for the nation's highest unemployment rate in December, the last month for which federal statistics are available. The Golden State's civilian labor force is still down about 450-thousand workers compared to pre-pandemic levels.