Los Angeles, April 18 (IANS) The unemployment rate in California rose to 5.3 per cent in March, according to latest data released by the state’s Employment Development Department (EDD).

On Friday, EDD said this number, reflecting employment data taken from the survey week between February 12 to March 12, partially predated the current economic impact created by the COVID-19 pandemic, reports Xinhua news agency.

In March, the data showed that the Golden State’s employers lost 99,500 non-farm payroll jobs, driving the jobless rate up by 1.4 percentage points in March as against the number in February.

It was the state’s largest unemployment rate increase on record in a data series going back to 1976.

“The job loss in March ended a record job expansion in California of 120 months, which surpassed the long expansion of the 1960s.

“In the recent expansion, California had gained 3,417,700 jobs, which accounted for 15.0 per cent of the nation’s 22,789,000 job gain over the same timeframe,” the EDD added.

In order to deal with a series of economic problems triggered by the pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced at his daily coronavirus briefing on Friday to form an economic recovery advisory council headed by billionaire Tom Steyer.

Former Chair of the Federal Reserve Janet Yellen, Disney Executive Chairman Bob Iger and Apple CEO Tim Cook also were named to the council, with a goal of helping Californians suffering from aftermath of the fatal disease to recover as soon as possible.

–IANS

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