For the first time in five months, Riverside County's unemployment rate dropped below 12 percent, figures released Friday show-- though local cities remained above that mark.
The county's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in November, based on preliminary estimates, was 11.5 percent, a half percentage point decline from October, according to the California Employment Development Department.
According to the EDD:
- In Banning, the November jobless rate was 13.2 percent.
- In Beaumont, the November jobless rate was 13.1 percent.
Nearby Cabazon still has the highest unemployment rate in the county, at 28.4 percent, according to EDD figures.
The county rate was 1.2 percentage points below the level of a year ago, when unemployment stood at 12.7 percent.
The county's jobless rate sank below 12 percent in April and May of this year before climbing back up.
The civilian labor force numbered 942,200 people, with 108,400 out of work.
The city of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 28.4 percent, followed by Mecca at 22.9 percent and Homeland at 22.4, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in November was 11.3 percent, down from 11.7 percent the prior month.
Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded significantly in the retail trade, leisure and hospitality sectors, which altogether added 12,600 jobs. Smaller gains were recorded in business and professional services, as well as telecommunications and agriculture.
The public sector grew by 1,400 jobs, mostly in education.
Payrolls shrank in the health services, construction, manufacturing and financial activities sectors, which shed a total 2,000 positions last month. Another 100 jobs were lost in non-categorized industries, according to the EDD.
The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate was 9.6 percent.
-- City News Service contributed to this report.