The four-county region lost 1,500 jobs last month - a period when the area historically gains 1,100 jobs.
"We can attribute this difference to the retail trade industry which did most of its hiring earlier in the year - from October to November."
That's Justin Wehner with the state Employment Development Department, which released the numbers. He says the sector that includes restaurant and hotel jobs didn't do very well either.
"From November to December leisure and hospitality only gained 100 jobs and this is during a time of the year where it usually gains 1,800 jobs.
The Sacramento area unemployment rate was flat in December at 9.8%, unchanged from November, and down from 10.9% in December of 2011.