With most sectors of the regional economy expanding and the size of the labor force shrinking, the unemployment rate in Riverside County last month dropped to its lowest level in nearly six years, state officials reported Friday.
The county's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in April, based on preliminary estimates, was 8.3 percent, compared to 9.4 percent in March, according to the California Employment Development Department. The rate was 1.4 percentage points lower than in April 2013, when unemployment hovered around 9.7 percent.
The last time the unemployment rate was at or below its current level was June 2008, when it was 8.2 percent, after which it climbed steadily for several years, according to EDD data.
The EDD counted 944,500 people in the civilian workforce countywide last month, compared to 960,600 in March. Month-to-month variations in the labor pool are typically 7,000 or less, according to historical data published by the state. The reason for the comparatively larger variation in April was not immediately clear.
According to the EDD, the unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 21.7 percent, followed by Mecca at 17.2 percent and Homeland at 16.8 percent, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in April was 8.3 percent.
Bi-county data indicated payroll expansion in all but three sectors of the regional economy. The construction and manufacturing sectors altogether added 2,600 jobs, while the leisure and hospitality industry boosted payrolls by 1,100.
The business services, information services, financial services and educational services sectors added a total 1,600 positions, with the farming sector expanding by another 900, according to the EDD.
Payrolls, however, contracted in the public, retail trade and miscellaneous services sectors, which lost 700 jobs.
The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in April was 7.3 percent, according to the EDD.
— City News Service.