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County unemployment rate rises with end of year
The farming sector saw an estimated decrease of 1,400 jobs in December, which is typical for the end of the harvest season. - photo by Journal file photo

The close of the year brought a slight rise in Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

Stanislaus County had an unemployment rate of 9.1 percent in December, up from the revised rate of 8.8 percent posted in November, but below the year-ago estimate of 10.4 percent.

The decline was primarily from a drop in seasonal farm related jobs between November and December. In that time span the farming sector saw an estimated decrease of 1,400 jobs. The decline is typical for the close of the harvest season.

Following in the wake of the seasonal decline in farm jobs, the manufacturing sector, particularly food manufacturing saw a drop in employment for the month. Manufacturing was down by about 200 jobs, with about 100 of those in food manufacturing.

Also seeing a decline in jobs in December were: Construction (200), Educational and Health Services (100), and Government (300).

Sectors that reported job increases in December were: Trade, Transportation and Utilities (500), Leisure and Hospitality (300), and Professional and Business Services (100).

The increase in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector was largely spurred by hiring in the retail sector, especially at general merchandise stores. Many of those jobs would be seasonal and come to an end at the end of the holiday season.

The unemployment rate in Merced County was at 11.9 percent in December, up from 10.9 percent the month prior. The unemployment rate in San Joaquin County for December was at 8.8 percent, up from the 8.6 percent posted in November.

California had an unemployment rate of 5.8 percent and the nation was at 4.8 percent for the same time frame.

During December, Turlock had an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent, up from 7.9 percent in November. Denair had a rate of 5.2 percent, an increase from the 5 percent posted in November. Hughson had a December rate of 13.1 percent, an increase from the 12.7 percent recorded in November.  Keyes saw their rate jump from 14.4 percent in November to 14.9 percent in December. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 9.8 percent in December, up from 9.5 percent in November.

The occupations with the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for December were: Registered Nurses – 501; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 410; Critical Care Nurses – 129; Retail Salespersons – 126; Speech-Language Pathologists – 125; Physical Therapists – 115; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers – 112; Customer Service Representatives – 100; Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks – 96; and Maintenance and Repair Workers, General – 91.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for December in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation – 117; The Hospitals of Providence – 109; E&J Gallo Winery – 96; TruStaff – 89; Ceres Unified School District – 88; Kaiser Permanente – 75; Sutter Health – 73; Soliant – 70; Modesto City Schools – 60; and California State University System – 59.