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November sees countywide unemployment rate drop

RIVERSIDE COUNTY, Calif.- - With payroll gains exceeding losses throughout the regional economy, Riverside County's unemployment rate fell last month, state officials reported today.
   
The jobless rate in November, based on preliminary estimates, was 4.1 percent, compared to 4.4 percent in October, according to the California Employment Development Department.
   
The rate was also a half percentage point lower than the year-ago level, when countywide unemployment stood at 4.6 percent.
   
Roughly 45,800 residents were out of work in November, and 1,064,700 were employed, according to the EDD.
   
Coachella had the highest unemployment rate countywide at 11.7 percent, followed by the unincorporated community of Cabazon at 10.8 percent and Winchester at 7.3 percent.
   
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties last month was 3.9 percent, down from 4.1 in October.
   
Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded by the widest margin in the retail trade sector, which added 12,700 positions, as outlets geared up for the holiday shopping season.
   
The leisure and hospitality industry, also in seasonal hiring mode, added the next-highest number of workers -- 4,100 -- while the agricultural, construction, educational services, health services, financial services and public sectors altogether added another 5,500 jobs regionally, according to the EDD.
   
The professional services sector shed the largest number of positions last month -- 1,700. Payrolls were also cut in the manufacturing and information technology sectors, as well as in miscellaneous uncategorized industries, for an aggregate loss of 900 jobs.
   
According to the EDD, the state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in November was 3.9 percent.

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