Riverside County’s unemployment rate, although almost 15 percent, went down in August. It is now 14.7 percent according to a report released last week by the California Employment Development Department.
Over the past two years, unemployment percentages in Riverside County and the rest of the Inland Empire has held fairly steady, according to a report by the Labor Market Information Division of the California Employment Development Department. Since September 2009, unemployment has ranged from 13 percent to slightly over 15 percent.
“The unemployment rate historically tends to decline in Riverside County between July and August during the year,” said Michael Goss, a labor market consultant with the Employment Development Department.
For some, an unemployment rate of more than 14 percent is grim, but doesn’t affect them personally. For 131,800 residents of Riverside County, it’s reality. They have no job. They really want one.
Besides counting the numbers and processing unemployment checks, the California Employment Development Departmentoffers the unemployed services to help in their job search.
One of these is Cal Jobs, a website allowing job seekers to view jobs in selected specialty areas in the counties of their choice. The Riverside County offices also have their own website, RivCoJobs, which provides jobs, online skills and interest tests, and information about resources.
Other services provided at Unemployment Development Department offices include career coaches, networking groups and information about resources for jobs or training.
Networking groups meet in Riverside and Corona, as well as many other communities outside of western Riverside County. In Riverside, these groups include Networking Unlimited, which assists all unemployed workers in finding new jobs, and Veterans Networking (Vet-Net) which provides more targeted assistance to veterans.
“Knowledge is always important,” said Paul Philburn of Riverside, a member of both groups. “Other people ask questions I didn’t realize to ask. The people who run the networks give you solutions.”
“It’s a good source to meet others,” said Vet-Net member Ken Berry of Moreno Valley. “We can all learn from each other.”
Corona’s networking groups include Networking Unlimited for all unemployed, and Experience Unlimited for unemployed who have college degrees or who worked in management or executive positions.
In Riverside, learn more at 1325 Spruce St. (northwest corner of Iowa Avenue and Spruce Street) or call (951) 955-3100. In Corona, learn more at 237 W. River Road (west of Main Street) or call (951) 340-4036.