SAN MATEO (CBS SF) – Three bay area counties boast the lowest unemployment rates in the state. In fact, the number of people emerging from unemployment across California is making encouraging gains, according to this month’s figures released Saturday by the state’s Employment Development Department.

The preliminary August count by the agency put California’s unemployment rate at 6.1 percent, a 0.4 percent drop from the agency’s revised July unemployment rate. It’s also 1.5 percent lower than the rate reported this time last year.

READ MORE: 1 Killed, 2 Injured in Sonoma County Crash on Route 116

Put another way, the agency said the number of unemployed went down by 76,000 compared to last month’s revised figures, and 222,000 compared to last year. An estimated 1,163,000 remain unemployed.

In the Bay Area, San Mateo is the county with California’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.3 percent. This shrank 0.3 percent from the preliminary San Mateo figures from last month.

READ MORE: French Bulldog Stolen at Gunpoint During Castro Valley Armed Robbery

Close behind are Marin and San Francisco counties, which have unemployment rates of 3.5 and 3.6 percent, respectively. Both made gains from last month, according to the early data.

Solano continues to have the highest rate of unemployment in the region, but even that county’s 5.9 percent rate improved by 0.3 percent compared to previous figures.

Nationwide, the unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 percent from last month’s 5.3 percent.

MORE NEWS: Stockton Police Investigate Separate Weekend Shootings That Left 1 Dead, 2 Injured

TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Bay City News Service contributed to this report.