California’s jobless rate fell below 5% in October as employers added 31,700 jobs

California posted strong job gains in October, as the Golden State’s economic engine pushed the unemployment rate down to 4.9% from 5.1% a month earlier.

In all, the state added 31,700 net new jobs last month, according to data released Friday by the Employment Development Department.

The report marked the first time since March that employers added jobs in consecutive months, boosting confidence in an economy that has slowed somewhat from last year.

“It signals that the prospect is well alive to continue this expansion,” said Michael Bernick, who was director of the employment department from 1999 to 2004.

Bernick, who is now an attorney at the law firm Sedgwick in San Francisco, said the report was particularly positive because gains were seen across many industries.

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