Modest gains in a few sectors of the regional economy were offset by losses in others, leaving the unemployment rate unchanged in Riverside County last month, according to figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The jobless rate in July, based on preliminary estimates, was 7.9%, the same figure reported by EDD in June.

The July rate was 5.3 percentage points lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 13.2%, amid the public health lockdowns.

About 88,400 residents were out of work last month, and 1,035,300 were employed, according to EDD.

Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide in July at 14.1%, followed by Mecca at 12.4%, Winchester and Desert Hot Springs each at 11.6%, East Hemet at 11.3% and Highgrove at 11.1%.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in July was also 7.9%, down from 8% in June, according to figures.

Bi-county data indicated that payrolls expanded by the widest margin in the retail trade sector, which added 3,600 positions last month, with the hospitality sector posting the next-highest amount — 1,900 — followed distantly by the information technology sector, which gained 200 jobs.

Payrolls dropped in the agricultural, construction, financial services, health services, manufacturing and professional business services sectors, which altogether declined by a total 7,900 jobs, data showed.

The public sector showed a steep drop of 13,900 positions. However, almost all of those were comprised of teachers and support personnel from schools counted as seasonally unemployed due to their summer hiatus. Most K-12 schools returned to full-time operations in the first half of this month.

Miscellaneous unclassified industries showed no change in payrolls.

The statewide non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate last month was 7.9%.

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