County’s Jobless Rate Declines in March

RIVERSIDE – With gains in all but a few sectors, the unemployment rate in Riverside County crept lower last month, state officials reported today.

The county’s non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in March, based on preliminary estimates, was 9.4 percent, compared to 9.5 percent in February, according to the California Employment Development Department. That’s one percentage point lower than in March 2013, when unemployment stood at 10.4 percent.

According to EDD figures, the civilian labor force numbered 960,300, with 90,700 of those individuals out of work.

The unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 24.2 percent, followed by Mecca at 19.2 percent and Homeland at 18.8 percent, according to the EDD.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties was unchanged last month at 9.4 percent.

Bi-county data indicated payroll expansion in all but three sectors of the regional economy. The public sector recorded the greatest increase, adding 2,100 positions, mostly in state and local education, as instructors and support staff returned from winter breaks.

The business services sector added 900 jobs, while private educational services added 600, data showed. There was nominal growth in leisure and hospitality, retail trade, information sectors and the construction industry, which altogether added 600 positions.

Payrolls in financial services, manufacturing and miscellaneous industries contracted by 1,200, according to the EDD.

The farm sector added 1,800 jobs.

The state’s non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in March was 8.4 percent, according to the EDD.

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