YAKIMA, Wash. — Yakima County’s employment picture improved in December with a year-over-year drop in the jobless rate along with growth in nonagricultural jobs.

Though seasonably high, Yakima County’s unemployment rate of 11.2 percent last month was below the 11.8 percent the county reported in December 2011, according to preliminary figures released Wednesday by the state Employment Security Department.

During December, 13,270 Yakima County residents were without jobs compared to 14,030 a year earlier — a decrease of 5.4 percent.

Meanwhile, nonagricultural growth increased last month. In December, Yakima County reported 76,600 nonagricultural jobs, a 1.2 percent increase from the 75,700 jobs the county reported a year ago, according to Employment Security.

All but a few job sectors saw increases last year. Professional and business services led the way with 500 more jobs year-over-year. Other sectors reporting job growth included manufacturing, which saw 400 more jobs, wholesale trade, education and health services and construction, which saw 200 more jobs each, and state government with 100 more jobs.

Retail trade had 200 fewer jobs from a year ago, while federal government jobs dropped by 100.