California’s unemployment rate edged lower in April to 11%, the first decline in two and a half years, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The jobless rate fell from 11.2% in March, which was the highest on record. The rate is up from 6.6% a year ago and remains well above the national rate of 8.9% for April. The Golden State’s unemployment rate had not fallen since September 2006, when it touched 4.8%, its low for the last business cycle.

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