A recovery in payrolls throughout the regional economy pushed Riverside County’s unemployment rate below 5% last month, according to figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.
The jobless rate in February, based on preliminary EDD estimates, was 4.9%, compared to 5.6% in January.
According to figures, the February rate was nearly four percentage points lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 8.7%, amid the statewide coronavirus public health lockdowns.
About 57,400 county residents were recorded as out of work in February, and 1,106,400 were employed, according to EDD.
Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide in February at 10.8%, followed by Cherry Valley at 9.1%, Hemet at 8.3%, Mecca at 7.9% and Rancho Mirage at 7.5%.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in February was 5%, up from 5.7% in January, according to figures.
Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin in the leisure and hospitality sector, which gained 6,900 jobs in February.
Additional gains were documented in the construction, financial services, health services, information technology, manufacturing and professional and business services sectors, which altogether swelled by 12,600 positions last month, according to EDD.
The agency said miscellaneous unclassified industries added another 300 jobs.
Payrolls declined by a total 2,500 jobs in the agricultural, public and trade, transportation and utilities sectors, according to figures.
Only the mining and logging sector was unchanged.
Data showed that the statewide non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in February was 4.8%.