Inland Empire jobs, down 4,000 in July, still 104% of pre-pandemic levels – San Bernardino Sun

Bosses in Riverside and San Bernardino counties had 4,000 fewer workers in July, but employment is still 104% of pre-pandemic levels.

My trusty spreadsheet, filled with state job figures released Friday, found local bosses had 1.65 million workers in July, up 84,400 in 12 months despite the one-month dip. That puts Inland Empire employment 67,600 above February 2020, the last month before coronavirus shackled the economy. Remember, 220,500 I.E. jobs were lost in 2020’s COVID-19 lockdowns.

Key to July’s job dip was government workers on vacation. With schools out on summer break, this sector’s employment was down 13,500 last month to 243,900 workers. The decline left government jobs at 92% of pre-pandemic staffing, down 21,900 workers from February 2020. Looking at it another way, countywide government employment was at 98% in July 2019.

It’s been wild times in the job market. Inland Empire employers averaged 3,833 new jobs per month in 2022’s first six months. In 2021, employment grew at a 7,700 monthly pace while the economy emerged from coronavirus lockdowns. But local bosses boosted staff at a 4,100 monthly pace in 2018-19 before we knew the word coronavirus.

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The erratic jobs rebound has still managed to cut joblessness. The Inland Empire’s unemployment rate was 3.9% in July compared with 4% in the previous month, 8% a year earlier and 3.9% in February 2020.

The jobs recovery has not been an across-the-board rebound. Look at how Inland Empire employment fared in other key industries since coronavirus landed, ranked by their recovery in job counts …

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