Stanislaus County started the year off with an increase in the unemployment rate, but continued to better the estimates set a year ago, according to the latest Employment Development Department report.
The county recorded an unemployment rate of 15.6 percent in January, up from a revised rate of 14.7 percent in December. The unemployment rate for January was still well-below the year-ago estimate of 16.7 percent.
Typically, Stanislaus County has the highest unemployment rate in January, February and March and they begin to fall as agricultural hiring starts in April.
“Historically, the month of January has the largest drop in numbers,” said EDD Labor Market Analyst Natividad Martinez. “It’s not unusual because it’s coming from typically seasonal jobs.”
The only Stanislaus County sector to record a job growth in January was manufacturing, which gained an estimated 100 new positions, according to the EDD. However, the sector is down about 1 percent in job growth from January 2012.
The news of manufacturing gains comes one day after Post announced tentative plans to close their Modesto plant and lay-off 140 workers.
The trade, transportation and utilities sector took the largest hit in employment in Stanislaus County in January. The sector lost an estimated 1,300 jobs for the month. Most of the job losses were seen in retail stores, which typically decrease their employment levels after the holiday season. Clothing and clothing accessories stores posted a 12.5 percent drop in employment from December to January. General merchandise stores decreased their employment ranks by 7.1 percent in the same time period.
As a whole job growth in the trade, transportation and utilities sector are up 4 percent from January 2012.
Construction in Stanislaus County dropped employment levels by 6.2 percent from December to January, but is up 10.9 percent from January of last year.
The leisure and hospitality sector lost an estimated 300 jobs from December to January, but is up 2.8 percent for the year.
Stanislaus County had an estimated 37,300 unemployed in January, the EDD reported.
Merced County recorded an unemployment rate of 18.4 percent in January, up from 17.2 percent in December. San Joaquin County had an unemployment rate of 15.5 percent in January, up from 14.5 percent in December.
The unemployment rate in California was unchanged at 9.8 percent. The U.S. employment rate was at 7.9 percent for the same time period.
The number of people unemployed in California was 1,816,000, up by 3,000 over the month, but down by 212,000 compared with January of last year.
The EDD reported that there were 519,632 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the January survey week. This compares with 496,500 last month and 575,895 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 68,907 in January, compared with 51,545 in December and 59,344 in January 2012.
In Turlock the unemployment rate increased to 11.9 percent from 11.4 percent the month before. Denair’s rate grew from 8.3 percent in December to 8.6 percent in January. Hughson’s rate went from 19.5 percent in December to 20.2 percent in January. Keyes had an unemployment rate of 26.9 percent, up from 26 percent. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 19.3 percent in January, up from 18.6 percent in December.
According to EDD data, the Stanislaus County employers posting the most help wanted ads for January were: E. & J. Gallo Winery – 177; Doctors Medical Center – 92; Sutter Health – 73; Kaiser Permanente – 58; Supplemental Health Care – 50; Miceli-Watters, Staffing Partnership – 31; The Judge Group – 28; CVS Caremark – 28; Toy’s “R” Us/ Babies “R” Us – 25; and AT&T – 24.