More Murrietans are finding work, numbers indicate.
Murrieta's unemployment rate remained below the national level last month as all but a couple of sectors of the regional economy added jobs or were unchanged, state officials reported Friday.
The city's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in December, based on preliminary estimates, was 7.3 percent, compared to 7.6 percent in November, according to the California Employment Development Department.
The rate was nearly a percentage below below the level of a year ago, when unemployment in Murrieta stood at 8.2 percent.
Riverside County's jobless rate also fell—to 11.1 percent from 11.5 percent in November, based on EDD's preliminary estimates. The rate was more than a percentage point less than a year ago, when unemployment in the county was 12.4 percent.
The county's civilian labor force numbered 946,700 people, with 104,800 out of work, according to figures.
The Murrieta civilian labor force was made up of 28,500 in December, with 2,100 people unemployed, EDD reported.
Among cities neighboring Murrieta, Temecula had a preliminary December jobless rate of 7.5 percent, while in Menifee 11.8 percent were out of work. In Wildomar, 9.7 percent were unemployed, and in Lake Elsinore, the rate was 10.7 percent.
The city of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 27.6 percent, followed by Mecca at 22.2 percent and Homeland at 21.7 percent, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in December was 10.9 percent, down from 11.3 percent the prior month.
Bi-county data indicated payrolls expanded significantly in trade, transportation and utilities, which added 3,600 jobs.
The farm sector, educational and health services and the the leisure and hospitality industry posted moderate gains, altogether totaling more than 3,000 positions.
Payrolls shrank in construction, as well as professional and business services, which shed a combined 1,800 jobs, according to data.
The public sector shrank by 1,200 jobs, reflecting holiday breaks at schools and other government institutions.
The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate was 9.7 percent, while the federal unemployment rate was 7.8 percent.
—City News Service and Maggie Avants contributed to this report.