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County closes year with dip in unemployment
The county had an estimated labor force of 233,800 people, with approximately 209,400 employed and 24,400 unemployed in the month of December. - photo by Photo Contributed

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County saw just a slight decline at the close of 2014, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate for December was at 10.5 percent, down just a bit from the unadjusted rate of 10.7 percent recorded in November. The county had an estimated labor force of 233,800 people, with approximately 209,400 employed and 24,400 unemployed in the month of December.

Merced County had an unemployment rate of 12.8 percent in December, up from 12.3 percent in November. San Joaquin had an unemployment rate in December of 10.4 percent, down from 10.7 percent in November, according to the EDD. Marin County had the lowest unemployment rate in California with a rate of 3.5 percent, while Imperial County had the highest rate with 21 percent.

California had an unemployment rate of was 7 percent in December, down 0.2 percentage point from November, and down 1.3 percentage points from one year ago. In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.6 percent in December, down 0.2 percentage point from November, and down 1.1 percentage points from one year ago, the EDD reported.

The state had a job gain of only 700 positions in December, compared a revised 82,800-job gain in November and a 34,300-job gain in October. 

Five categories in the state (trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and government) added jobs over the month, gaining 18,800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest increase over the month, adding 8,300 jobs. Four categories (construction; information; professional and business services; and other services) reported job declines over the month, down 18,100 jobs. Two categories (mining and logging and manufacturing) were unchanged over the month, the EDD reported.

The EDD reported that there were 436,034 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the December 2014 survey week. This compares with 392,610 last month and 504,558 last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 47,858 in December 2014, compared with 60,211 in November and 73,458 in December of last year.

In Stanislaus County the retail sector saw a job gain in December, most of which came from general merchandise stores, which added more positions for a 5.5 percent gain for the month. Health care also saw a gain in positions, with a 1 percent growth for the month, according to the EDD.

Government, manufacturing, and construction all saw month declines in jobs in Stanislaus County.

In December the unemployment rate in Turlock was at 7.9 percent, down from 8.1 percent in November. Denair had an unemployment rate of 5.6 percent, down from 5.8 percent. Hughson had a rate of 13.8 percent, down from 14.1 percent. Keyes recorded a rate of 18.9 percent in December, down from the rate of 19.3 percent posted in November. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 13.1 percent, down from 13.5 percent.

The EDD’s employment projection for Stanislaus County, which covers 2010 to 2020, predicts 59 percent of all projected nonfarm job growth is concentrated in four industry sectors.

Professional and business services employment is projected to grow by 31.2 percent through the projection period and will have more than a half of its growth in administrative and support and waste management and remediation services. Educational services, health care and social assistance industry is expected to increase by 16.8 percent, with the health care and social assistance subsector contributing 3,600 jobs. The retail trade sector anticipates job gains of 3,800, led by a growth of 900 jobs in general merchandise stores. Mining, Logging and Construction is expected to be the fastest growing industry sector at a 62.7 growth rate (3,700 jobs).

The jobs and professions having the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for December were: Registered Nurses – 504; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers –403; Retail Salespersons – 145; Customer Service Representatives — 137; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales — 126; Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing — 106; Physical Therapists – 100; First Line supervisors of Production and Operating Workers — 97; Critical Care Nurses — 96; and Maintenance and Repair Workers, General — 89.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for December in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation — 218; TruStaff — 120; Kaiser Permanente — 91; CTG - Computer Task Group — 84; Ceres Unified School District — 77; Supplemental Health Care — 60; California State University System — 51; Alliance Worknet — 51; Modesto City Schools — 49; and Sutter Health — 48.