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Countys unemployment rate moves slightly upward
Rate still below last years number
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The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County rose just slightly in March, but remains below the rate set a year ago, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

Stanislaus County had a March unemployment rate of 8.8 percent, which is up by the slimmest margin from the adjusted rate of 8.7 percent for February. The rate remains below the year-ago estimate of 9.9 percent. In March 2016, the unemployment rate for the county was posted at 9.9 percent, which was the highest it would reach all year, according to the EDD’s data.

Most sectors within Stanislaus County reported job growth for the month of March or remained steady. The two sectors that reported a decline in jobs were Professional and Business Services, which was down by approximately 100 positions, and Health and Education Services, which was down by an estimated 200 positions.

The sectors reporting the highest rates of job increases were Trade, Transportation, and Utilities, which added approximately 600 positions, and Mining, Logging, and Construction, which added around 500 positions for the month, with the majority coming from the Construction trade. The increase in the Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector was largely fueled by more jobs in the wholesale trade area, according to the EDD.

Other sectors reporting job growth for the month in Stanislaus County were: Farming (300), Manufacturing (100), Leisure and Hospitality (400), and Government (400).

For the year-over numbers, every sector in Stanislaus County is either above the year-ago rate or is steady.

Stanislaus County was ranked 42nd out of the state’s 58 counties for unemployment. The EDD estimates the county had a labor force of 246,900, with 21,800 currently unemployed.

Merced County had an unemployment rate of 12.2 percent in March, down from a rate of 12.4 percent in February. San Joaquin County had a March unemployment rate of 8.3 percent, which was the same rate recorded in February.

California had an unemployment rate of 5.1 percent and the nation’s was at 4.6 percent for the same time frame.

Turlock’s unemployment rate stayed steady at 7.9 percent for March, remaining unchanged from the month prior. Denair’s rate also was unchanged at 5.3 percent in March. Hughson had a March rate of 12.7 percent, up a little from the 12.6 percent posted in February. Keyes had a rate of 14.3 percent in March, which was the same rate for February. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent in March, up slightly from the 9.4 percent in February.

The occupations with the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for March were: Registered Nurses – 450; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 430; Retail Salespersons – 172; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers – 138; Physical Therapists – 111; Maintenance and Repair Workers – 110; Security Guards – 96; Teacher Assistants – 89; Customer Service Representatives – 88; and Bookkeeping, Accounting, and Auditing Clerks – 78.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for March in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation – 166; E&J Gallo – 126; Ceres Unified School District – 100; Sutter Health – 96; Kaiser Permanente – 64; Modesto City Schools – 63; Pizza Hut – 54; Supplemental Health Care – 51; The Hospitals of Providence – 50; and Soliant – 49.