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More people looking for work, reports EDD

POSTED July 22, 2011 8:47 p.m.

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County made an unpleasant upward tick for the month of June, but the increase is not solely attributed to job losses according to the Economic Development Department.

The unadjusted seasonal rate for Stanislaus County in June was recorded at 17.2 percent, up from a revised rate of 16.6 percent in May.

The increase is not entirely reflective of lost jobs in the area, said EDD labor market analyst Nati Martinez. Most industry sectors saw either jobs added or remain constant between May and June. During that same time period there was an increase in Stanislaus County’s labor force, meaning more people reported they were looking for work, which caused an increase in the unemployment rate.

Past data from the EDD shows a trend of more people seeking employment in the summer, Martinez said. That includes students, teachers off for the summer, and migrant workers who typically come to the area during the summer for employment opportunities tied to the harvest seasons of multiple crops.

“Summer time tends to bring more individuals out looking for work and that can increase the unemployment rate,” Martinez said.

The EDD reported there were 40,900 people unemployed in the county for the month of June, up by 1,800 from the year before.

The EDD also reported that the labor force grew by 3,500, representing more people joining the job market.

Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate for June was unchanged from the year-ago estimate.

The unemployment rate for Merced County saw a sharp increase from 17.8 percent in May to 18.7 percent in June. San Joaquin County’s rate grew slightly up to 16.7 percent, from 16.2 percent in May.

While the unemployment rate rose, there were some bright spots among the different industry sectors.

Manufacturing saw an increase of 400 jobs for the month over and 2,200 from a year ago. Approximately 1,600 of those jobs were in food manufacturing, Martinez said.

The trade, transportation and utilities sector saw the biggest decline in jobs for the area, losing 800 from last year’s total, according to the EDD. Of those job losses, 700 were in the Trade sector, which includes retail.

“We’re not seeing recovery in that area like we would like to see,” Martinez said.

The state’s unemployment rate rose to 12.1 percent for the month, up from 11.7 percent. The national unemployment rate was at 9.3 percent, up from 9.1 percent after netting 18,000 jobs for the month of June.

California’s nonfarm payrolls gained 28,800 jobs in June, following a revised 21,100 job loss in May, according to the EDD.

Professional and business services, up by 16,400 in the state, gained the most jobs in June. Trade, transportation and utilities lost the most at 11,000 losses.

The unemployment rate grew in Turlock for June, rising up to 13.2 percent from 12.8 percent. Denair’s rate rose to 9.6 percent from 9.3 percent in May. Hughson went from 21.5 percent in May to 22.2 percent in June and Keyes’ rate jumped to 29.4 percent for June, up from 28.6 percent in May.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail sstafford@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.

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