The state Employment Development Department said Friday the rate was down from 8.3 percent in December and from 9.5 percent a year earlier.
Kern County's January unemployment rate, which was not seasonally adjusted, was 12.3 percent. Bakersfield's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent.
Some Kern County communities, such as Delano and Arvin, have unemployment rates above 30 percent.
The U.S. unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in January.
KBAK/KBFX Eyewitness News contributed to this report.