Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 07/20/2012 05:19:43 PM PDT

The Inland Empire’s jobless rate rose nearly one full percentage point in June but economists say it was because more people entering the work force rather than there being more unemployed.

The San Bernardino and Riverside counties saw a jump in unemployment from 11.8 percent in May to 12.6 in June, which could be a sign of people starting the job search following the end of the school year, said Johannes Moenius, an economist with the University of Redlands.

“One thing is that we had a jump in the civilian labor force participation, and that’s going to happen. Basically being June, people may have ended their education and are starting to look for jobs,” he said.

By contrast, the state’s unemployment rate dipped one tenth of one percentage point to 10.7 in June, according to data released by the state Employment Development Department.

The nation’s unemployment rate was unchanged in June at 8.2 percent.

In contrast to the federal figures about the Inland Empire, a research firm’s adjusted unemployment figures showed only a modest increase in the region.

The Los Angeles-based economic research and consulting firm Beacon Economics said Friday that unemployment in the area rose from 12.3 percent to 12.4 percent.

Jordan Levine, economist and director of economic research at Beacon, also concluded increase was from new workers seeking jobs.

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