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In the throes of a real estate slowdown, the county’s significant losses in construction employment kept the year-over-year job growth to a lackluster 0.1 percent between June 2006 and June 2007, according to statistics released this morning by the state’s Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate rose in June to 4.6 percent in the county. That’s up from the 4.2 percent rate in both May 2007 and June 2006. California’s rate was 5.2 percent, and the national rate was 4.7 percent in the same period.

Over the year, construction payrolls shrank by 7,400 jobs. But between May and June 2007, construction added about 900 jobs — the biggest monthly gain so far this year, the EDD reported.

For the sixth straight month, the sector with the largest year-over-year growth was leisure and hospitality. From June 2006 to June 2007, that growth was 6,500 jobs, with over three-fourths of that gain in accommodation and food services.

KELLY BENNETT

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