By Bay City News Service
Marin County continues to have the lowest rate of unemployment in the state, according to data released Friday.
Marin's rate was 5.5 percent for the month of December, down from 5.8 percent in November, the California Employment Development Department statistics showed.
Unemployment rates declined in many Bay Area counties in December and held steady statewide. California's overall unemployment rate remained unchanged from November at 9.8 percent, and was distinctly down from the 11.2 percent rate seen a year ago in December.
Rates declined in several Bay Area counties, which have consistently had the lowest unemployment rates in the state in recent years. Aside from Marin's low rate, San Mateo County had the second lowest rate in the state in December at 6.0 percent, down from 6.3 percent in November. San Francisco's rate dipped from 6.7 in November to 6.5 in December, giving it the third lowest rate in the state and the lowest rate the city has seen since 2008. A year ago, unemployment in San Francisco was 9.6.
"It's a new year and we are experiencing a consistent improvement in our economy," Mayor Ed Lee said, "yet we will not rest for the 30,900 San Franciscans who are still unemployed. I will continue to work with every business sector in the city to make sure we continue to support policies that grow jobs and put San Franciscans back to work."
Alameda County also declined, from 8.5 percent in November to 8.2 percent in December, and Contra Costa County showed a slight decline from 8.3 to 8.2 percent.
The state's unemployment rate is derived from a federal survey of 5,500 households throughout California.
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