The last time unemployment hit single digits was in January 2009 when the rate was 9.7 percent. The November unemployment reading fell below October's rate of 10.1 percent and was well below the year-ago rate of 11.3 percent.
But despite that good news, the state posted a loss of 3,800 jobs jobs over the month, the first monthly job loss in 16 months. Still, California has created 564,100 new jobs since the economic recovery began in February 2010.
Job creation was more robust last month in Los Angeles County, which added 17,400 jobs over the month and 68,100 year over year.
L.A. County's unemployment rate fell to 10.2 percent in November from a revised 10.5 percent in October and 12.1 percent a year ago, EDD figures show.
The Inland Empire also experienced healthy growth with a gain of 13,400 jobs over the month and a total of 11,000 jobs created since November 2011.
The two-county region's jobless rate fell to 11.3 percent in November compared with 11.7 percent the previous month and 12.4 percent a year ago.
The biggest monthly employment gains in both L.A. County and the Inland Empire occurred in trade, transportation and utilities.
Those sectors added 15,900 jobs in L.A. County and 7,000 jobs in the combined San Bernardino-Riverside counties area.
L.A. County also added 4,200 jobs in the information category, which includes such industries as motion picture and sound recording, radio and TV broadcasting, newspapers and telecommunications.
Additional gains were seen in finance (up 1,800), educational and health services (up 1,300), construction (up 1,200) and government (up 400).
Professional and business services posted the biggest month-over-month decline, with a loss of 2,800 jobs. More losses were seen in professional, scientific and technical services, and manufacturing.
The Inland Empire added jobs in leisure and hospitality (up 5,600), government (up 1,400), professional and business services (up 1,100) and information (up 400).
The biggest month-to-month losses there were seen in education and health services, which lost 1,200 jobs.
Unemployment rates have fallen in communities throughout Southern California, but some cities still boast high jobless rates.
In the Inland Empire - an area hard hit by the housing meltdown - 25 communities still had unemployment rates of 14 percent or higher in November, including Cabazon (28.4 percent), Mecca (22.9 percent), Adelanto (17 percent) and Bluewater (22.7 percent).
Christopher Thornberg, a founding partner with Beacon Economics in Los Angeles, wasn't surprised by the declining unemployment rates.
"If you look at the numbers over the past couple of years unemployment has been dropping on a pretty consistent basis," he said. "And taxable sales are almost back to pre-recession levels, building permits are rising, exports are rising and more venture capital is coming into the state. All of these are signs of an economy that's in expansion mode, although it's growing at a slightly less than normal pace."
To erase all of the symptoms of the big recession, California will need faster growth, he said. But Thornberg figures the state is on track to hit a more normal unemployment level of 6 percent within the next two years - providing nothing cataclysmic happens.
Stephen Levy, director and senior economist at the Center for Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto, offered a macro look at the state's economy.
"Future growth will be determined by forces in the national and world economy," Levy said in an email. "I expect California will outpace the national average in job growth based on the continuing surge in tech employment and new leases and building by tech companies in the Bay Area, an expected surge in residential building as the housing market heals, foreclosures decline and supply remains very tight, and strength in tourism, agriculture and exports."
Staff Writer Greg Wilcox contributed to this report.