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August unemployment numbers lowest yet for 2010
Job increases seen in manufacturing and agricultural industries
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Stanislaus County Unemployment rates for 2010

·         August:  16.4%

·         July: 17.6 %

·         June: 17.2%

·         May: 17.3%

·         April: 18.2%

·         March: 19.2%

·         February: 19%

·         January: 18.9%

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County, usually a harbinger of grim news, showed a rare bright spot with the release of the latest data from the Economic Development Department.

The figures from the EDD show Stanislaus County’s unemployment level dipped more than a full percent between July and August, reaching 16.4 percent for the previous month. August’s unadjusted rate is the lowest level the county has seen in 2010. Neighboring counties Merced and San Joaquin fared equally well with Merced dropping from 18.9 percent to 17.4 percent for August and San Joaquin falling to 16.4 percent from 17.6 percent.

Helping the unemployment rate in Stanislaus County were job increases in manufacturing and agricultural industries. The preliminary August numbers from the EDD show an increase of 1,900 jobs in manufacturing and 1,400 in agriculture.

In California the unemployment rate was 12.4 percent in August, up 0.1 percentage point from last month. There were 33,500 less jobs in the state in August, according to the EDD.

Within the state only two sectors showed job gains. Professional and business services had an increase of 300 jobs and mining and logging had a 200 increase.

Sectors that lost jobs in August, in order of job loss magnitude, were: Government (9,200); Trade, transportation and utilities (8,600); Construction (3,900); Manufacturing (3,800); Financial activities (3,700); Information (2,800); Educational and health services (1,400); Other services (500); and  Leisure and hospitality (100).

The unemployment rate in the United States was 9.6 percent in August, up 0.1 percentage point from July.

In Stanislaus County the East Oakdale area had the lowest unemployment level at 7 percent and the Shackelford area in Modesto had the highest at 45.6 percent. Turlock had an unemployment rate of 12.5 percent, a drop from 13.5 percent last month.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.