Unemployment fell and the number of jobs grew in the Inland Empire as the state Employment Development Department on Friday delivered a report with news that will add cheer the coming holidays.

The unemployment rate for the San Bernardino-Ontario-Riverside metropolitan statistical area registered 12.5 percent in November, down from 13.3 percent in October and 14.5 percent in November 2010.

The unemployment rate was 12.1 percent in San Bernardino County and 12.8 percent in Riverside County.

Between November 2010 and November 2011, total nonfarm employment increased by 19,100 jobs.

There was a 12,100 net increase in jobs between October and November.

Meanwhile, the jobless rate in California decreased to 11.3 percent from year-ago levels of 12.5 percent. .

"This is a different market from last year," said Melissa Lira, an assistant manager for the Ontario office of Appleone.

Not only are there more overall placements, but most of them are for permanent jobs, not temporary jobs like what was dominate in 2010, she said.

Appleone in Ontario placed 460 people into jobs during November, which was the second most of any group in the Inland Empire, according to an EDD survey.

Leading all firms for job hires was Lockheed Martin, which took on 786 employees last month.

Those new employees were scattered at sites in Riverside, Barstow, Palm Springs and Helendale, EDD officials said.

The company is involved in a number of promising projects for the Department of Defense, including advanced testing of the F-35 Lightning II, a fifth generation multirole fighter.

Company officials could not be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

"What we are seeing is good news," said Johannes Moenius, director of international business initiatives at the University of Redlands School of Business.

"But I want to be cautious. It is probably not as good as it looks," he said.

Trade, transportation and utilities reported the greatest gain over October, adding 7,800 jobs, the EDD report said. A seasonal increase in retail trade, up 7,700 jobs, accounted for almost 99 percent of the jobs gained in the sector, primarily from general merchandise stores, up 3,700, and clothing and clothing accessories stores, up 2,600.

Transportation and warehousing reported an increase of 600 jobs and wholesale trade lost 500 jobs.

Moenius said he's worried that most of those retail jobs will vaporize in the early months of the new year. And the fragile economic recovery could quickly sustain injury from rising gasoline prices.

"I see risks of this mounting," he said.

Cities with the most jobs added in November

(Riverside San Bernardino Ontario MSA)

Riverside - 3,904

Palm Springs 3,132

Ontario - 1,981

San Bernardino - 1,683

Corona - 1,512

Rancho Cucamonga - 1,219

Temecula - 1,217

Palm Desert 921

Chino 756

SOURCE: California Employment Development Department; Help Wanted Online from The Conference Board and WANTED Technologies

(Riverside San Bernardino Ontario MSA)

Lockheed Martin - 786

Appleone - 460

Kaiser Permanente - 241

Loma Linda University Medical Center - 232

SEARCH ONE INC. - 232

Home Depot - 178

Universal Health Services Inc. - 156

Bank of America - 151

Desert Regional Medical Center - 116

SOURCE: California Employment Development Department; Help Wanted Online from The Conference Board and WANTED Technologies