County unemployment rising to 1997 levels

     The job front in Riverside County has already taken a beating this year, but the monthly unemployment rate in San Bernardino County is rising to levels unseen since 1997.
     Preliminary data released by the state’s Employment Development Department on Friday pegs San Bernardino County’s unemployment rate at 7.2 percent and Riverside County’s at 7.6 percent for the month of May.
     While both counties lost jobs in manufacturing, retail, entertainment, transportation, warehousing and professional services, the two sectors getting hit hardest were education and financial services.
     Statewide, the two-county region’s employment picture is looking worse than most other counties, yet better than places like Merced County, where the subprime housing meltdown has pummeled the area’s construction workforce.
     The Inland Empire’s big-picture numbers are even more interesting.
     Between May 2007 and May 2008, the two-county region lost 22,600 jobs, most of that due to a busted housing market.
     And at the same time, a much higher percentage of people who actually did find a job over than one-year period are now working for local, state and federal governments. In fact, EDD’s report says that government “saw the greatest year-over-year increase, adding 5,200 jobs.”
     If you’re unemployed and seeking work, check in with Uncle Sam — he might find something for you to do before the private sector does.

     Click on the link below to research county data on the California Employment Development Department’s web site:

     Look below to see the Employment Development Department’s report for May:


# # # # # State of California June 20, 2008


Labor Market Information Division Contact: Joe Briceno

9650 9th Street, Suite A (909) 481-6214

Rancho Cucamonga, CA 91730



Region gained 2,200 nonfarm jobs over the month, but declined by 22,600 over the year

The unemployment rate in the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario MSA was 7.4 percent in May 2008, up from a revised 6.9 percent in April 2008, and above the year-ago estimate of 5.2 percent. This compares with an unadjusted unemployment rate of 6.5 percent for California and 5.2 percent for the nation during the same period. The unemployment rate was 7.6 percent for Riverside County and 7.2 percent in San Bernardino County.

Between April 2008 and May 2008, total nonfarm employment increased by 2,200 to reach 1,255,600 jobs. Total farm employment gained 800 jobs, or 4.3 percent.

  1. Trade, transportation, and utilities posted the greatest nonfarm month-over increase, adding 800 jobs. Retail trade gained 400 jobs, followed by growth in transportation, warehousing, and utilities (up 300) and wholesale trade (up 100).
  2. Professional and business services grew by 500 jobs. Administrative and support and waste services added 1,100 jobs, which was offset by a decline of 600 in professional, scientific and technical services. Management of companies reported no change in employment levels over the month.
  3. Construction increased by 500 jobs, where specialty trade contractors reported most of the gain (up 300). Construction of buildings and heavy and civil engineering construction added 100 jobs each.

Between May 2007 and May 2008, total nonfarm employment decreased by 22,600 jobs, or -1.8 percent. Total farm employment gained 300 jobs, or 1.6 percent.

  1. Government recorded the greatest year-over increase, adding 5,200 jobs. Local government gained 4,000 jobs, mostly in local government education (up 3,200). State government increased by 1,000, while federal government added 200 jobs.
  2. Educational and health services grew by 3,900 jobs. Healthcare and social assistance gained 3,100 jobs, followed by an additional 800 jobs in educational services.
  3. Construction posted the greatest year-over decline, down 15,700 jobs. Specialty trade contractors accounted for most of the job loss (down 13,000), mainly in building foundation and exterior contractors (down 9,000). Construction of buildings decreased by 2,500 jobs, while heavy and civil engineering construction declined by 200 jobs.

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