Orange County gained 30,600 payroll jobs in November compared with the previous year as the unemployment rate dipped to 5.6 percent, the lowest rate for the month since the recession, according to state employment officials.

“Orange County’s economic recovery and job creation continues to rebound,” said Wallace Walrod, chief economic adviser to the Orange County Business Council. He noted that about 20 percent of the jobs added statewide in November were in the county.

The county’s October unemployment rate was slightly higher, at 5.8 percent. Holiday-season spending seemingly powered the county’s gain in November. Of the 8,700 jobs added last month, 6,700 were in retail.

image1-Holiday hiring trims O.C. unemployment rate to 5.6%

Orange County’s annual employment growth rate was faster in November at 2.1 percent than the state’s or the nation’s. The number of payroll jobs in the county overall, however, remains 66,000 below the November peak in 2007.

Chapman economist Essie Adibi noted the job numbers are likely to be revised upward early next year when broader criteria gathered by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics are included.