Riverside County's unemployment rate dropped last month to 8 percent, a six-year low, state officials reported Friday.
The county's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in May, based on preliminary estimates, was three-tenths of a percentage point lower than in April, according to the California Employment Development Department. The rate was 1.6 percentage points lower than in May 2013, when unemployment hovered at 9.6 percent.
EDD data indicated that the last time the unemployment rate was at or below its current estimate was in May 2008.
According to the government's figures, the countywide civilian labor force numbered 945,100, with 75,500 people out of work.
The unincorporated community of Cabazon had the highest unemployment rate countywide, at 21 percent, followed by Mecca at 16.6 percent and Homeland at 16.2 percent, according to the EDD.
In Palm Desert, the rate stands at 4.70 percent, with 1,200 people unemployed of the 26,400 in the workforce, according to the EDD.
The combined unemployment rate for Riverside and San Bernardino counties in May was also 8 percent.
Bi-county data indicated payroll expansion in half of the 12 defined sectors of the regional economy. One sector, mining and logging, was unchanged.
The farming sector recorded the highest gains, adding 1,600 jobs in May, while trade, transportation and utilities was close behind with 1,100 new positions.
The public sector. along with leisure and hospitality, information technology and miscellaneous services boosted payrolls by a total 1,300, according to figures.
Payrolls contracted, however, in professional and business services, health services, financial services, and the construction and manufacturing sectors, which altogether posted loses of 2,100.
The state's non-seasonally-adjusted jobless rate in May was 7.1 percent, according to the EDD.
— City News Service contributed to this report.