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California jobless rate steady at 9.8 percent

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) -- State officials say California's jobless rate remained at 9.8 percent in December, the same rate as in November.

The Employment Development Department said Friday that 1.8 million Californians were unemployed in December, slightly below the previous month but down by 255,000 since December of 2011.

The unemployment rate then was 11.2 percent.

The department said construction, information, and educational and health services fields showed the biggest job gains between November and December.

Economist Steven Levy says the monthly numbers are volatile right now, but the state has made important gains as its economy continues to rebound. California's unemployment rate fell below 10 percent in November for the first time in nearly four years.

California's job growth has slightly outpaced national gains.

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