San Bernardino County has regained 58% of jobs lost during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, far outpacing the state average as the local economy continues to show signs of a healthy recovery.

Newly released figures from the California Employment Development Department (EDD) show unemployment in San Bernardino County dropping to 8.6% in January, down significantly from its April 2020 peak of 14.2%. Since the end of May, employers in the county have added more than 80,000 non-farm jobs, out of 138,500 that were lost during the first three months of the pandemic. That 58% recovery rate compares to 39% for the state as a whole.

Redlands unemployment rate dropped to 6.7% in the EDD’s January report, down from 7.2% in December. It was at 3.1% in February 2020 and peaked at 11.4% in April.

“San Bernardino County has become a major business and economic hub for the region and all of California, so it’s not surprising to see us leading the state out of pandemic downturn,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman.

“We’re a great place to do business and to find that right job.”

The EDD report showed a 0.2% improvement in the county’s unemployment rate from December, continuing a trend that has seen the rate fall in eight of the last nine months.

For the Inland Empire as a whole, total employment (1.89 million) is now within 6% of its prior year total, with supply chain-related jobs showing strong gains during that period.

The Transportation and Warehousing sector was up 17% from January 2020 to January 2021 — an increase of more than 25,000 jobs.