The unemployment rate in Riverside County dropped for the sixth consecutive month amid gains in most economic sectors, but the rate was still double last year’s level, state officials said Friday.

The jobless rate in November, based on preliminary estimates, was 7.8%, compared to 8.7% in October, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The November rate was nearly 4 percentage points higher than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 3.9%.

About 86,000 residents were out of work last month, and 1,015,000 were employed, according to the EDD.

Although the inland region’s employment base is fairing better compared to earlier this year when the public health lockdowns led to record-setting jobless claims, many areas of Riverside County continue to struggle.

Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 13.8%, followed by Desert Hot Springs at 12.8%, the unincorporated communities of East Hemet at 12%, Highgrove at 11.8% and Lakeland Village, also at 11.8%, figures showed.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in November was 7.9%, down from 8.7% in October, officials said.

Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin last month in the trade, transportation and utilities sector, which added roughly 15,600 positions, divided mostly between warehousing and retailing.

Additional gains were recorded in the agricultural, construction, hospitality, manufacturing and professional business services sectors, which altogether expanded by 5,700 jobs, the EDD said.

The financial services, health services and public sectors, along with miscellaneous unclassified industries, shed a total 3,500 jobs last month, data showed. The information technology sector was unchanged.

The statewide jobless rate in October, like the Inland Empire, was 7.9%.

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