For many Californians, Labor Day is still a day without a job

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As we head into a holiday weekend that celebrates work, many Californians are still struggling to find it.

While California is creating jobs at a faster rate than the rest of the country, the state's July unemployment rate of 10.7 percent is still one of the highest in the country. In the year ending in July, the Golden State added 365,000 non-farm jobs — but Kimberly Ritter-Martinez, economist with the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation, says that’s because during the recession, California lost about a million jobs.

“Most of those jobs, something like 85 percent, were concentrated in construction, finance, manufacturing and, more recently, state and local government," says Ritter-Martinez. "Those are all sectors that have been slow to come back."

Another economist says that as those people update their skills to get the jobs that are in demand, it slows down the nation’s economic recovery.

“This whole process takes a long time and it’s a fits-and-starts process," says Jerry Nickelsburg with the UCLA Anderson Forecast. "So, I think it’s one that we can expect to persist over the next 12 months until the next Labor Day.”

Nickelsburg says California’s progress in creating jobs is (ironically) another reason for its high unemployment rate because some openings are encouraging more people to look for work.

But, Nickelsburg says in the rest of the country, the jobs outlook is discouraging many people, so they stop looking.

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