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Home / News / Business / Riverside County unemployment jumps in January, unchanged in February

Riverside County unemployment jumps in January, unchanged in February

by City News Service
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Despite growth in some sectors of the regional economy, Riverside County’s unemployment rate was unchanged last month, according to figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The countywide jobless rate in February, based on preliminary EDD estimates, was 4.5%, the same as in January.

EDD posted the data outside of its usual schedule due to an annual statistical revision process, done in concert with the U.S. Department of Labor, known as “benchmarking,” which is intended to improve accuracy of results.

The January unemployment figures were published earlier this week. The benchmarking process has now ended, and EDD officials will return to regularly posting data on the third Friday of every month for the rest of the year.

According to figures, the February 2023 rate was only two-tenths of a percentage point lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 4.7%.

An estimated 52,500 county residents were recorded as out of work in February, and 1,105,500 were employed, according to EDD.

Mecca had the highest unemployment rate countywide last month at 11.1%, followed by Cherry Valley at 8.2%, Coachella at 7.7%, Rancho Mirage and Hemet at 6.5%, and East Hemet at 6.3%.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in February was also 4.5%, up from 4.4% in January, according to figures.

Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin in leisure and hospitality, which added 3,200 positions.

The construction, health services, manufacturing and professional business services sectors altogether increased by 6,600 jobs, figures showed.

Miscellaneous unclassified industries also grew by 1,600 jobs, while the information technology, mining and public sectors were unchanged.

The EDD said the agricultural, financial services and retail trade sectors shed 5,100 positions last month.

Data indicated that the statewide non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate in February was 4.8%.

Jobless rate spikes in January

Losses throughout the regional economy pushed Riverside County’s unemployment rate higher at the start of the year, according to figures released Wednesday by the California Employment Development Department.

The countywide jobless rate in January, based on preliminary EDD estimates, was 4.5%, compared to 3.8% in December.

The EDD posted the data outside of its usual schedule due to an annual statistical revision process done in concert with the U.S. Department of Labor known as “benchmarking,” which is intended to improve accuracy of results. The process will wrap up later this month, at which point the February jobless figures also will be released.

According to figures, the January 2023 rate was more than one percentage point lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 5.6%, as the statewide COVID-driven public health restrictions came to an end.

An estimated 51,800 county residents were recorded as out of work in January, and 1,100,100 were employed, according to the EDD.

Mecca had the highest unemployment rate countywide in January at 11%, followed by Coachella at 8.4%, Cherry Valley at 8.1%, Rancho Mirage and Hemet at 6.4%, and East Hemet at 6.2%.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in January was 4.4%, up from 3.7% in December, according to figures.

Bi-county data indicated payrolls only expanded in the public and manufacturing sectors, which together added 1,300 positions.

The retail trade sector shed the largest number of jobs at the close of the holiday shopping season, leaving 13,800 people out of work, data showed.

The agricultural, construction, financial, health services, hospitality, information technology and professional business services sectors lost an aggregate 12,600 jobs, according to the EDD.

Miscellaneous unclassified industries also shrank by 1,400 jobs, while the mining sector was unchanged, officials said.

Data indicated the statewide non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in January was 4.6%.

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