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County posts job gains in February, prior to COVID-19 impact
Merced County total employment grew 3.99%, the fastest among the San Joaquin Valley’s eight counties in 2021. Stanislaus County total employment grew the second fastest at 3.56%.

Before the coronavirus pandemic sent unemployment levels skyrocketing around the country, Stanislaus County was continuing to report a lower level of unemployment, according to the Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County was at 6.6 percent in February, which was the same as the revised rate posted for January, and below the year-ago estimate of 7 percent, according to the EDD.

"The federal survey data used to develop the February 2020 California labor market statistics precedes, and therefore doesn’t reflect, any economic impacts being experienced now due to the spread of the coronavirus in California," the EDD stated in the news release.

In February, most of the sectors in Stanislaus County posted job gains or remained flat. The only sector to post a decline in jobs was trade, transportation and utilities, which includes retail. That sector lost approximately 300 jobs for the month, with the majority of those coming from general merchandise stores and clothing stores. For the year, the sector has added about 600 more jobs than the same time as last year, according to the EDD.

The sector with the largest job gains in February was farming, which added about 500 jobs for the month. For the year, the sector has added approximately 800 jobs.

The manufacturing sector added an estimated 100 jobs for the month, but for the year are down by approximately 500 jobs, according to the EDD.