SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California's unemployment rate fellslightly in October, to 11.7 percent, from 11.9 percent a monthearlier, as the state added jobs in construction, education, healthservices and leisure and hospitality, the state EmploymentDevelopment Department said Friday.

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The rate has hovered above 12 percent for months and has beenstuck above 11 percent since 2009. California's is the secondhighest in the nation, behind Nevada, which had a rate of 13.4percent in September, the most recent data available.

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Still, the October numbers are an improvement from a year ago,when its unemployment rate was 12.5 percent.

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EDD said the state added 25,700 jobs in October — a large numberconsidering the United States added a total of 80,000 jobs in thesame period.

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The national unemployment rate also dropped slightly to 9percent in October.

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About 495,000 people continue to receive unemployment insurancebenefits in California, and nearly 69,000 new claims were receivedin October.

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