SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's unemployment rate hit a modern record of 12.6 percent in March, though it was up only a fraction over the previous month.

The state Employment Development Department also reported Friday that non-farm payroll jobs increased by 4,200 during the month as the economy shows signs of life. It was the third consecutive month that California added jobs, gaining 32,400 jobs so far this year.

California's jobless rate grew from 12.5 percent in February after holding steady for a month. The rate was 10.6 percent in March 2009.

Nationally, unemployment remained unchanged at 9.7 percent in March.

Michigan led the nation at 14.1 percent, followed by Nevada at 13.4 percent.

California was tied for the third-highest jobless rate with Rhode Island.


Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.