Wonderful protest (copy)

In this file photo, farmworkers rest near orange trees on Merced Avenue near Highway 65. 

Kern County's jobless rate went from a revised 6.4 percent in November to 7.2 percent in December, according to seasonally unadjusted data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

County farmers shed a net 8,800 jobs, a 13.5-percent drop month over month that left the local ag industry less than 1 percent below its total payroll a year before.

No other local sector posted nearly as much fluctuation and the month-over-month changes were mixed.

California's statewide unemployment rate was unchanged since November at 3.7 percent, while the national rate increased one-tenth of 1 percent at 3.4 percent.

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