RIVERSIDE, Calif. -

Riverside County's unemployment rate fell to 12 percent last month, with all but a few sectors expanding payrolls, state officials reported today.

The county's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in September, based on preliminary estimates, declined nearly one percentage point from August, when the rate was 12.7 percent, according to the California Employment Development Department.         

The rate was almost two percentage points below the level of a year ago, when unemployment stood at 13.9 percent.

Riverside County's civilian labor force numbered 937,400 people, with 112,300 out of work, according to figures.    

The city of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 29.4 percent, followed by Mecca at 23.7 percent and Homeland at 23.2 percent, according to the EDD.

The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in September was 11.6 percent, down from 12.3 percent the prior month.

Bi-county data indicated that payrolls expanded in all but the manufacturing and hospitality sectors, which shed a total 1,000 jobs in September. Another 800 jobs were cut in non-categorized industries.

The professional and business services sector posted the largest increase -- 1,200 positions -- while the number of jobs added in the remaining sectors, including agriculture, also totaled around 1,200.   

The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate was 9.7 percent.