Berkeley’s unemployment rate in August is less than July’s

The city of Berkeley’s unemployment rate decreased to 10. 2 percent in August — 0.3 percent less than July’s rate — according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

Berkeley’s labor force in August was 57,800, of which 5,900 were unemployed, according to the department. Unemployment in the city most recently peaked at 11.1 percent in July and August 2010.

The rate has slightly fluctuated throughout 2011 so far, dipping as low as 9.7 percent in May and reaching a high rate of 10.5 percent in January and July.

The department’s data shows that the city’s August unemployment rate is 0.9 percent lower than last year’s rate, which was 11.1 percent, and 0.6 percent lower than the August 2009 rate of 10.8 percent.

Neighboring cities such as Concord, Emeryville and Richmond saw rates of 11.4 percent, 7.7 percent and 16.9 percent respectively. Oakland saw an unemployment rate of 16.1 percent.

Alameda County also experienced a decrease in its unemployment rate, declining to 10.7 percent in August — 0.3 percent lower than the July rate.

California’s unemployment rate increased to 12.1 percent in August, which is 0.1 percent higher than the July rate and 0.3 percent lower last year’s August rate of 12.4 percent, according to the data.

California was one of 26 states and the District of Columbia to report an increase in the rate, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Twelve states reported a decrease in the rate, while 12 noted no change. California also had the second highest rate in the nation, according to a media release from the department.