State officials say California's unemployment rate is continuing its steady decline, hitting 7.6 percent in May.

The Employment Development Department reported Friday that California gained 18,300 jobs in May. More than 10,000 of those were in the leisure and hospitality businesses, while the manufacturing sector lost 6,800 positions. 

The figures come a month after the unemployment rate fell to its lowest point in six years, 7.8 percent. The jobless rate remains above the national average of 6.3 percent.

More than 1.4 million Californians were out of work in May, a drop of a quarter million people over the last year. Unemployment figures do not include people who stopped looking for work. 

The unemployment rate is calculated using surveys of households and employers. 

-- The Associated Press