California bosses added a record 141,600 jobs in May as the economy slowly reopened, but the jobless rate took only a tiny fall to 16.3%.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday, June 19 that last month’s survey of 80,000 California employers showed 15.12 million workers. The 141,600 gain from April was the state’s largest monthly gain, surpassing a 97,000 jump in April 2010. May’s hiring boost only made a small dent in the record loss of 2.4 million jobs in April as the state’s economy was still mostly locked down.

Across Southern California counties, joblessness ran 20.6% in Los Angeles; 15.8% in Riverside; 14.5% in Orange; and 13.9% in San Bernardino.

May hiring in California was the fifth-largest gain among the states. The top state was Texas at 237,800. All but five states had job growth.

California has been one of the slowest states to ease business limitations designed to slow the spread of coronavirus. The statewide job count is still down 2.27 million from a year ago, the nation’s largest drop. Considering California’s huge job market, May’s 0.9% increase was the seventh-worst hiring performance. Nationwide, 2.5 million jobs were added in May, a 1.9% jump.

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California’s top hiring industry in May was construction, up 75,000, followed by leisure and hospitality, up 64,800. The biggest cuts were seen in government jobs, down 95,000.

The statewide jobless rate, taken from a survey of 5,100 households, was 16.3% in May compared with a revised record-setting high of 16.4% in April. Previously, it had been reported as 15.5%.

California’s jobless rate in May was fourth-highest among the states. The highest was Nevada at 25.3%. Lowest was Nebraska at 5.2%. Unemployment fell in 38 states.

In February, before the fight against the pandemic became widespread, California’s unemployment rate was a record low 3.9%. It was 4.1% in May 2019. During the Great Recession, unemployment statewide peaked at 12.3% in 2010.

U.S. unemployment was 13.3% in May, down from 14.7% in April. Federal job counters admit these unemployment stats may understate job losses, as certain out-of-work Americans were missed due to a survey quirk.