The number of people without jobs in Murrieta and across Riverside County continued to shrink in December 2013, state officials reported Friday.
The unemployment rate last month in Murrieta was 5.9 percent, preliminary figures from the California Employment Development Department showed—compared to 6.3 percent in November and 7.3 percent one year ago.
Riverside County’s unemployment rate at the end of 2013 was a full two percentage points lower than a year earlier, the report showed.
The county's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in December, based on preliminary estimates, was 9.1 percent, compared to 11.1 percent in December 2012, according to the state’s figures.
In southwest Riverside County, Temecula’s December unemployment rate was 6.1 percent and Menifee’s was 9.7 percent. Lake Elsinore had 8.8 percent unemployed, while Wildomar’s rate was 8 percent, according to preliminary figures.
On a month-to-month level, the Riverside County rate was six-tenths of a percentage point lower than in November, when unemployment stood at 9.7 percent.
The county's civilian labor force last month numbered 939,800 people, of whom 85,500 were out of work, EDD figures show.
The unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 23.4 percent, followed by Mecca at 18.6 percent and Homeland at 18.2 percent, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in December was 8.9 percent, down from 9.4 percent the prior month.
Bi-county data indicated major payroll expansion in retail trade and warehousing as the holiday shopping season peaked, with roughly 4,600 jobs added.
The professional and business services sector grew by 3,000 positions, while another 1,500 new jobs were created in leisure and hospitality, according to the EDD.
Losses were reported in the construction, manufacturing, information services and public sectors, which altogether shed around 3,000 jobs.
The farming sector added 1,300 hands, double from the month before.
The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate last month was 7.9 percent, according to the EDD.
The federal unemployment rate declined from 7 percent in November 2013 to 6.7 percent in December, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment rose throughout the country in retail trade and wholesale trade but was down in information.