Unemployment rate unchanged, job growth slim

By Simon Avery, The Associated Press
Monday July 15, 2002

LOS ANGELES – California’s jobless rate has remained steady at 6.4 percent as the hesitant economy managed only 4,400 new jobs in June. 

The job growth was so slim that most economists considered it inconsequential. But the rate remained unchanged from May, providing a break from a pattern of steady losses that had cost an additional 214,000 jobs over the past 12 months, according to the Employment Development Department which released its report Friday. 

In June 2001, California’s jobless rate was 5.2 percent. 

But with many companies questioning the recovery’s staying power, job growth is unlikely to take off in the next few months, experts said. 

“A lot of CEOs and CFOs have been programmed by the news so far not to hire before the third quarter,” said Michael Swanson, a senior economist with Wells Fargo & Co. in San Francisco. 

Although non-farm job gains were small across the state, they occurred in a wide range of industries. Mining, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, finance, insurance and real estate added a combined 9,400 jobs.