Riverside County’s unemployment rate fell to 3.8 percent last month — its lowest level recorded in the state’s electronic database going back almost three decades, according to figures released Friday.
The jobless rate in April, based on preliminary estimates, was four-tenths of a percentage point lower than in March, according to the California Employment Development Department.
Agency figures also showed that the April rate was 1.2 percentage points below the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 5 percent.
Roughly 41,000 residents were looking for work last month, compared to 56,000 in March, data showed.
The EDD’s online archive of unemployment data showed that in the current century, the rate has never fallen below 4 percent in Riverside County. Data going back to 1990 also did not reveal a month when the rate was below 4 percent.
According to EDD officials, prior to 1990, the means of estimating the size of the labor force differed in relation to contemporary standards, likely making the county’s current unemployment rate the lowest on record.
UC Riverside Center for Economic Forecasting Director Robert Keinhenz has previously observed that since the end of 2017, the county and state effectively have been operating at almost full employment, and most people not working now are voluntarily out of the workforce.
The unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 10.1 percent, followed by Coachella at 8.4 percent and the unincorporated community of Lakeland Village at 6.5 percent.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in April was 3.7 percent, compared to 4.1 percent in March, officials said.
Bi-county data indicated payrolls contracted in four sectors of the regional economy — financial services, government, manufacturing and warehousing, which altogether shed 3,300 jobs.
Last month’s biggest gainer was the health services sector, where 1,900 positions were added, according to the EDD. Remaining sectors expanded by a total 3,000 jobs, figures showed.
The EDD said the state’s non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in April was also 3.8 percent.
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