Countywide jobless rate falls further

RIVERSIDE – Substantial job growth in the regional economy sent the unemployment rate in Riverside County lower last month, state officials said.

The jobless rate in October, based on preliminary estimates, was 5 percent, compared to 5.6 percent in September, according to the California Employment Development Department.

Agency figures showed that the October rate was more than a percentage point below the year-ago level, when unemployment stood at 6.1 percent.

There were 54,000 Riverside County residents out of work last month, compared to 60,300 in September, the data showed.

The unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 12.4 percent, followed by the March Air Reserve Base census- designated community at 9.9 percent and Mecca at 9.6 percent.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in October was 4.8 percent, compared to 5.4 percent in September.

Bi-county data indicated that the public sector recorded the biggest gains regionally, adding 8,100 jobs last month – the vast majority of them in education, as more teachers and support staff were counted in the workforce after their seasonal hiatus.

The retail trade, health services, professional services, agricultural and hospitality sectors altogether added another 17,800 positions, according to figures. Payrolls swelled by 900 jobs in financial services and miscellaneous unclassified industries.

The construction sector had the steepest loss in October – 1,000 jobs – while an additional 500 positions were shed in the information technology and manufacturing sectors.

According to the EDD, the state’s non-seasonally adjusted jobless rate in October was 4.3 percent.

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