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Layoff - photo courtesy of ETAJOE on Shutterstock

With gains throughout the regional economy, Riverside County’s unemployment rate ended 2022 below 4%, according to figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The jobless rate in December, based on preliminary EDD estimates, was 3.7%, compared to 4.2% in November.

According to figures, the December rate was more than one percentage point lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 4.9%, as the statewide COVID-driven public health restrictions came to an end.

An estimated 42,900 county residents were recorded as out of work in December, and 1,130,500 were employed, according to EDD.

Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide last month at 8.5%, followed by Cherry Valley at 6.9%, Mecca at 5.9%, Rancho Mirage at 5.6% and Hemet at 5.5%.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in December was 3.6%, down from 4.2% in November, according to figures.

Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 2,200 positions last month, the lion’s share of which was in warehousing.

Additional gains were documented in the construction, health services, professional business services and public sectors, which altogether grew by 3,100 jobs.

Miscellaneous unclassified industries also posted payroll growth of 300, the EDD said.

The mining and information technology sectors were unchanged.

Officials said payrolls declined in the agricultural, financial services, hospitality and manufacturing sectors, which shed an aggregate 2,600 positions.

Data indicated the statewide non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in December was also 3.7%.

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