SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California added 141,000 jobs in February as more than a quarter of a million people returned to the workforce.
The California Employment Development Department said Friday that the state's unemployment rate in February was 8.5%, down from 9% in January.
Employment in restaurants and hotels surged by more than 102,000. That's a reflection of loosening virus restrictions on businesses as more people are getting vaccinated.
California's unemployment rate remains more than 2 percentage points higher than the nation as a whole. But employment numbers could improve in the coming months as the state lifts more restrictions.