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California unemployment falls to 8.5 percent

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's unemployment rate has fallen to 8.5 percent as the state continues to close the gap on the national jobless rate.

The state Employment Development Department announced Thursday that California's unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent in June. It was 8.6 percent in May, which was the first time in five years the state rate had dipped below 9 percent.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate was 7.6 percent in June.

The state said California added 30,200 jobs in June, more than any other state. The gains were concentrated in trade, health care, hospitality and government.

The latest jobless rate means eight other states now have higher unemployment rates than California. It puts the state's unemployment rate at its lowest level since November 2008.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

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