The unemployment rate in Riverside County edged up last month as payroll increases throughout the regional economy were largely offset by losses in key industries.
The county's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in March, based on preliminary estimates, was 12.8 percent, compared to 12.7 percent in February, according to the California Economic Development Department.
However, local unemployment was nearly 1 percentage point below the year- ago level, when the rate was 13.6 percent.
EDD calculated a preliminary non-seasonally-adjusted unemployment rate of 8.5 percent in Murrieta in March, up from 8.4 percent in February but down from 9 percent a year ago.
For Temecula in March, a preliminary jobless rate of 8.7 percent was calculated, up from 8.6 percent in February.
Wildomar showed a preliminary jobless rate of 11.3 in March, while Lake Elsinore's estimated rate of unemployment 12.4. Both were up one-tenth of a percentage point from February.
And in Menifee, a preliminary 13.7 percent were unemployed, up from 13.5 percent in February.
Murrieta's civilian labor force in March numbered 28,300 people, with 2,400 out of work.
In Temecula, an estimated 3,300 people were without jobs based on a labor force of 37,900.
Riverside County's civilian labor force numbered 946,200 people, with 121,000 out of work.
The city of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 31 percent, followed by Mecca at 25.1 percent and Homeland at 24.6, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in March was 12.7 percent, up from 12.5 percent the prior month.
Bi-county data indicated six sectors posted job gains totaling around 6,000. However, the cumulative loss last month totaled nearly the same number.
The construction and manufacturing sectors, along with trade, transportation and utilities, contracted. Analysts identify these sectors as key drivers of economic growth in the region.
The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate was 11.5 percent.
—Maggie Avants contributed to this report.