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County unemployment rate continues to dwindle
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The Employment Development Department just released updated data on wages by occupation. Stanislaus County wages data can be found at

The economic news in Stanislaus County is on an upswing as summer is ushered in, with new companies ramping up their hiring rates and the county reaching a new low for the year in unemployment.

The unadjusted seasonal unemployment rate in Stanislaus County for May was at 12.2 percent, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department. May’s rate is down from a revised rate of 13.3 percent in April and far below the year-ago estimate of 15.2 percent.

The last time Stanislaus County had an unemployment rate in the 12 percent range was in November 2008, the EDD reported.

The number of unemployed people in Stanislaus County has consistently been on the decrease since the start of the year, when an estimated 37,100 people were unemployed in the county. For May the number of unemployed was approximately 28,700, according to the EDD data.

Neighboring counties also saw a decline in unemployment for May. Merced County went from an unemployment rate of 15.5 percent in April to 13.6 percent in May. San Joaquin County had a May unemployment rate of 11.5 percent, down from 12.9 percent the month prior.

The unemployment rate in California was at 8.1 percent in May, down from 9 percent in April. The nation had an unemployment rate of 7.3 percent during the same time period.

Historically, Stanislaus County usually sees the lowest unemployment rate of the year in the summer months as hiring increases at the area’s farms and food processing plants. Analysts are also expecting a further dip as industries like Amazon and Blue Diamond fill out their ranks.

Leading the job growth locally in May was the farming sector, which added an estimated 3,000 positions for the month, the EDD reported.

Following the farming sector, was manufacturing, which grew by an approximate 700 positions.

For the year-over, the retail sector has led job growth locally, with an estimated 1,100 new positions. Most of that growth has been at general merchandise stores and with transportation and warehousing.

For Stanislaus County, the only sector to post a job loss for May was government. The EDD reported a job decline of approximately 500 positions. Almost all of those were from school districts reporting seasonal layoffs.

Turlock had an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent in May, representing about 2,700 unemployed people. The rate was down from the 10.2 percent posted in April. Denair had an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent in May, a drop from April’s rate of 7.3 percent. Hughson’s unemployment rate fell from 17.5 percent in April to 16 percent in May. Keyes’ May unemployment rate came in at 21.7 percent, down from the 23.6 percent rate the month before. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 15.3 percent for May, a decrease from April’s 16.7 percent rate.