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California Economy Could Cash In On National Job Gains

A San Diego State University economist said December's positive national jobs report could help smooth California's rough economic waters.

— The Labor Department said the nation added more than 1.6 million jobs last year, 200,000 in December alone. A San Diego State University Finance lecturer said it is good for California's economy if the rest of the nation is doing well. The positive national news counters the state's fiscal problems.

"Our state government budget is still terrible, so we're still shedding workers at the state level and at the local level," said Dan Seiver, San Diego State University Finance Lecturer. "That's gonna hold California back, but the rest of the economy is picking up a little bit of speed and that's good for all of us."

Economist predict the California job market will get healthier and some predict the national economy will add more than two million jobs this year. The national unemployment rate slipped to its lowest level in three years in December, thanks to a burst of hiring. The Labor Department says the unemployment rate fell to 8.5 percent.

"2012 could come out as a pretty good year, and i tell you there are people in Washington, on Pennsylvania Avenue that have their fingers crossed that that's what's going to happen. There's an election in November," said Seiver.

President Barack Obama said the economy is starting to rebound, although he conceded that there are still a lot of people struggling.

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