Riverside County’s jobless rate retreats

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Riverside County’s unemployment rate edged lower last month, spurred by gains in most sectors of the regional economy, state officials reported last week.

The jobless rate in August, based on preliminary estimates, was 4.6%, compared to 4.8% in July, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The rate was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 4.9%.

Roughly 51,000 residents were out of work in August, and 1,042,800 were employed, according to the EDD.

Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 13%, followed by the unincorporated community of Cabazon at 10.4% and the unincorporated community of Highgrove at 8%.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in August was 4.4%, down from 4.6% in July.

Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin in the business and professional services sector, which added an estimated 3,200 positions last month.

Additional gains were recorded in the health services, financial services, construction, manufacturing and government sectors, which altogether expanded by 6,400 jobs, according to the EDD. Another 700 jobs were added in miscellaneous unclassified industries.

The mining and information technology sectors were unchanged.

Payrolls contracted in the agricultural, retail trade and hospitality sectors, which shed an aggregate 4,200 positions.

The EDD said the state’s jobless rate in July was 4.2%.