However, the state Employment Development Department said Friday that there were 29,100 new jobs created last month.
Despite the new jobs, the rate increased two-tenths of a percentage point from August. It is up nearly a half-percent since June, when it was 8.5 percent.
July's increase was the first since the spring of 2011.
The jobless rate had been in double digits and was among the highest in the country during the recession. It fell to 8.6 percent in May, which was the first time it had been below 9 percent in five years.
Since then, it has been edging back up.
The department says more than 1.6 million people remain unemployed, up 23,000 over July.
Unemployment rate by county
August 2013 - Preliminary report
Fresno County: 11.9%
Kings County: 12.0%
Mariposa County: 7.0%
Madera County: 10.4%
Merced County: 13.3%
Tulare County: 13.1%