California payrolls added 47,500 nonfarm workers in November compared with October’s 96,800 new hires, according to the state Employment Development Department.

November’s unemployment rate of 6.9% improved from October’s 7.3%. The November data does not reflect the spread of the omicron COVID-19 variant in the Golden State.

California has been digging out of a deep trough of job losses from early 2020. According to the state’s Employment Development Department, “the state has now regained 1,889,000, or nearly 70 percent, of the 2,714,800 jobs that were lost in March and April 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.”

California’s unemployment rate spiked from 4.3% to 16% after Gov. Gavin Newsom closed schools and businesses to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Professional and business services job growth led the way with 18,800 jobs added in November after October’s 39,500 new hires. Construction was the only one of the 11 industry sectors to lose employment in November, shedding 1,700 jobs because of decreases in specialty trade contractors, according to the EDD.

California’s 58 counties had uneven jobless rates in November. In the San Francisco Bay area, Marin, San Francisco and San Mateo counties had unemployment rates of 2.9%, 3.3% and 3.1%, respectively, in November. Meanwhile, Imperial County near San Diego reported a 15.5% unemployment rate. More than 60 miles north of Sacramento, Colusa County had a jobless rate of 10.3%. Los Angeles County, with the state’s biggest labor force of 5 million, had a jobless rate of 7.1% in November.

Newsom hit an upbeat note after the release of November employment data.

“Since February, California has created nearly 1 million jobs, an unprecedented achievement for the state’s economic recovery," Newsom said in a statement. "While the state continues to see a robust recovery, creating nearly 22 percent of the nation’s jobs in November and the largest unemployment rate decrease since February, there’s still more work to be done getting folks back to work and supporting those hardest-hit by the pandemic."

Despite the creation of 1 million new jobs since February, there were 1 million unemployed Californians in November. According to the EDD, there were “434,676 people certifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits during the November 2021 sample week. That compares to 463,257 people in October and 1,278,220 people in November 2020.”