Sacramento's job growth lags behind in California, U.S.

Job losses are slowing in the Sacramento region, but the area continues to lag behind California and the nation, which have been seeing job growth.

The region shed 13,000 jobs from payrolls – a 1.6 percent drop – between February 2010 and February 2011, according to state Employment Development Department data.

California saw an uptick in job growth of 1.6 percent, or 221,500 jobs, during the same 12 months, while job growth nationally was 1 percent, or nearly 1.3 million jobs.

In the Sacramento region, business and professional services was the only sector that grew every month over the past year, according to a report from the Sacramento-based Center for Strategic Economic Research, citing regional employment data from EDD. The sector added 1,500 jobs between February 2010 and February 2011.

Other sectors were up and down over the year, but showed net gains. The private education and health services sector gained 300 jobs, while manufacturing added 200 jobs during the year.

Meanwhile, the budget-crunched government sector was hard hit, with a net loss of 4,800 jobs.

Although the region's state government jobs increased by 1,400 in the year ended Feb. 28, local governments lost 5,900 jobs, and federal government agencies shed 300 jobs.

Financial activity and construction both showed big declines, shedding a combined 5,800 jobs from February 2010 to February 2011.

Many of the losses were in finance, insurance and real estate; as well as cuts in the number of trade contractors.

But there were signs of a turnaround amid the downbeat data.

Government, professional and business services, waste management, and leisure and hospitality all posted job gains between January and February of this year.

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