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Countys rank of unemployed grows
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The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County has once again crept upward, but is still showing some promise as it posted a rate below the year-ago estimate, according to the latest numbers from the Economic Development Department.

The county’s unemployment rate for March was at 17.4 percent, up from February’s revised rate of 17 percent, but below the year-ago estimate of 18.1 percent.

The unemployment rates in neighboring counties also were up for the last month. Merced County posted a rate of 20.2 percent, up from 19.9 percent and San Joaquin County was at 16.7 percent, up from 16.5 percent.

California’s unemployment rate was 11.5 percent and the nation’s was at 8.4 percent for the same time period.

For Stanislaus County the only sector to post a growth in jobs was government and that was solely at the local level, according to the EDD report. However, job growth in the government sector as a whole is down by an estimated 1,100 positions for the year, the EDD report shows.

The construction, manufacturing, information, financial activities and leisure and hospitality industries all remained flat for job growth in March.

The sectors that lost jobs for the month were: farming; trade, transportation and utilities; professional and business services; and education and health services.

There were an estimated 41,200 people unemployed in Stanislaus County in March.

Statewide, seven categories (mining and logging; trade, transportation and utilities; financial activities; professional and business services; educational and health services; leisure and hospitality; and government) added jobs over the month gaining 37,800 jobs. Leisure and hospitality posted the largest increase over the month, adding 13,800 jobs.

Four categories (construction; manufacturing; information; and other services) reported job declines over the month, down 19,600 jobs. Information posted the largest decrease over the month, down 13,400 jobs.

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 570,089 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the March survey week. This compares with 565,418 last month and 630,829 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 55,393 in March 2012, compared with 55,287 in February and 61,076 in March of last year.

At the local level, Turlock’s unemployment rate increased to 13.4 percent, up from 13.1 percent. Denair’s rate rose to 9.7 percent from 9.5 percent. Hughson saw a rise from 22 percent to 22.4 percent in March and Keyes’ rate went from 29.1 percent to 29.6 percent.