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An oil pump jack is hard at work around sunset next to the bike path in Bakersfield in this June 2014 photo.

Casey Christie / The Californian

New state data show Kern’s unemployment rate increased slightly in February, to a seasonally unadjusted 10.9 percent from 10.8 percent the month before, as the county shed more oil jobs.

California’s Employment Development Department reported the elimination of 400 oil and gas positions, a 4 percent monthly loss that drop the sector to 19.3 percent below its employment level a year before.

The state’s jobless rate, also expressed on a seasonally unadjusted basis, decreased to 5.7 percent from a revised 5.8 percent in January, while the national rate declined to 5.2 percent from 5.3 percent the month before.

Services were a bright spot in Kern, providing a net increase of 700 jobs in February, or three-10ths of 1 percent, the EDD reported.

While clothing and department stores combined for a loss of 400 positions last month, professional and business services alone posted a 600-job increase.

Restaurants in the county lost 500 jobs in February, the state reported. It said 200 people were laid off in construction.

But on the positive side, 300 local jobs were created in state government, and Kern farming grew by 200 jobs.

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