County’s jobless rate dips at year-end

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Despite swings in sectors throughout the regionaleconomy, Riverside County’s unemployment rate dipped lower in the final monthof 2019, state officials said recently.

The jobless rate in December, based on preliminary estimates, was3.7%, compared to 3.8% in November, according to the California EmploymentDevelopment Department.

The rate was four-tenths of a percentage point lower than the year-agolevel, when countywide unemployment stood at 4.1%.

Roughly 41,000 residents were out of work in December, and 1,070,400were employed, according to the EDD.

Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 10.2%,followed by the unincorporated community of Cabazon at 8.3% and theunincorporated community of Highgrove at 6.4%.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardinocounties in December was 3.5%, down from 3.6% in November.

Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin lastmonth – 2,500 – in the retail trade sector, as outlets boosted hiring for theholiday shopping season.

Additional gains were recorded in the farming and business servicessectors, which altogether expanded by 900 jobs, according to the EDD.

Losses were documented in the construction, financial services, healthservices, information technology, leisure and public sectors, which shed anaggregate 3,400 positions. Payrolls also contracted by 700 in miscellaneousunclassified industries.

The state’s jobless rate in December was 3.7%.