The unemployment rate in Riverside County dropped for the fourth consecutive month amid minor gains in most economic sectors, but about one in 10 workers still cannot find a job, state officials said Friday.
The county’s jobless rate in September, based on preliminary estimates, was 10.5%, compared to 10.7% in August, according to the California Employment Development Department.
The September rate was more than six percentage points higher than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at exactly 4%.
About 114,200 residents were out of work in September, and 969,900 were employed, according to the EDD.
Although the inland region as a whole is in a tepid recovery following record-setting unemployment claims that resulted from the public health lockdowns due to the coronavirus pandemic, many areas of Riverside County remain economically depressed.
Desert Hot Springs had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 17.6%, followed by the unincorporated community of East Hemet at 15.9%, Highgrove at 15.8%, with Coachella and Lakeland Village paired at 15.7%, figures showed.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in September was 10.4%, down from 10.5% in August, officials said.
Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin last month in the public sector — adding 2,700 positions — mainly in education, as teachers, administrators and support personnel at schools countywide returned to work, though most public grade schools are still in remote learning mode.
Additional gains were recorded in the agricultural, financial services, health services, hospitality, professional business services and retail trade sectors, which altogether expanded by 6,200 jobs, according to the EDD.
Miscellaneous unclassified industries posted another 900 positions.
However, the construction, information technology and manufacturing sectors shed a total 1,200 jobs last month, data showed.
The state’s jobless rate in September was 10.8%.