The recession cost California 63,000 jobs, but the worst is over, according to a state report released Thursday.
Job growth is averaging 1,500 new positions a month this year, contrasted with losses of 2,200 a month in 2001.
Next year, the state could see job growth of 2% above its existing 14.7 million nonfarm jobs, according to the Employment Development Department report. The state is expected to add about 3.2 million jobs by 2010.
More than 450,000 of those positions could be added in retail sales, cashiering, food preparation and service, computer support and software engineering, the study said. The fastest-growing sectors of the job market are expected to be computers, health and education.
Despite the dot-com collapse, "the structure of technology remains very strong in the state" and demand for related skills continue, said Michael Bernick, director of the EDD. The state economy remains highly diversified and fundamentally sound, he said.
Nearly 16.5 million Californians now have jobs. As of July, 1.1 million people were unemployed, half after losing their jobs.
The report estimated that unemployment increased by 292,000 people from January 2001 through last month. That included those who are self-employed and people holding farm jobs, Bernick said. During the same period, California lost 63,000 nonfarm jobs. Coupled with population growth, that sent unemployment soaring.