SB County’s unemployment rate drops to pre-pandemic levels

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San Bernardino County’s unemployment rate dropped to pre-pandemic levels in March, as payrolls increased by nearly 10,000 during the month to a record 976,000, the County’s Workforce Development Board reported Friday.

Newly released data from the California Employment Development Department showed unemployment dropping to 4.3% in March, the lowest level since February 2020 and down from 5% in February. Led by continued growth in the region’s supply chain industry and a resurgence in hospitality-related businesses, payrolls across the County are now 24,000 above where they were before the COVID-19 lockdown – one of the strongest recovery rates in California.

Meanwhile, the total number of eligible workers also reached all-time high – 1.02 million. The labor pool in San Bernardino County has now exceeded 1 million five months in a row.

“These numbers continue to underscore the strength of our labor force here in San Bernardino County as we fortify our role as one of the fastest-growing economic and population centers in the United States,” said Curt Hagman, Chairman of the County Board of Supervisors.

The surge in payrolls and labor force align with recent studies that have shown a dramatic migration of residents from Los Angeles and Orange counties into the Inland Empire. Newly released Census data show the IE recording the fifth fastest population growth among metro areas in the U.S. during the 12 months ending July 31, 2021.

“Families and young professionals are coming to San Bernardino County in record numbers to pursue career opportunities and enjoy a quality of life they can’t get elsewhere. All of this great news for employers and the regional economy as we build on this remarkable period of growth for our County,” said Phil Cothran, Chairman of the San Bernardino County Workforce Development Board.

Cothran encouraged job seekers to check out the services and resources WDD offers. Information on those services – including the three America’s Job Centers of California across the county – is available at: https://wp.sbcounty.gov/workforce/