RIVERSIDE – Riverside County’s unemployment rate at the end of 2013 was a full two percentage points lower than a year earlier, state officials reported today.
The county’s non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in December, based on preliminary estimates, was 9.1 percent, compared to 11.1 percent in December 2012, according to the California Employment Development Department.
On a month-to-month level, the rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than in November, when unemployment stood at 9.7 percent.
The civilian labor force last month numbered 939,800 people, of whom 85,500 were out of work, EDD figures show.
The unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 23.4 percent, followed by
Mecca at 18.6 percent and Homeland at 18.2 percent, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in December was 8.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent the prior month.
Bi-county data indicated major payroll expansion in retail trade and warehousing as the holiday shopping season peaked, with roughly 4,600 jobs added.
The professional and business services sector grew by 3,000 positions, while another 1,500 new jobs were created in leisure and hospitality, according to the EDD.
Losses were reported in the construction, manufacturing, information services and public sectors, which altogether shed around 3,000 jobs.
The farming sector added 1,300 hands, double from the month before.
The state’s non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate last month was 7.9 percent, according to the EDD.