The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County remained unchanged in February, but fell below the year-ago estimate, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.
The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County for February was at 13.3 percent, the same rate posted in January. It came in below the year-ago estimate of 14.6 percent.
Merced County saw a slight increase in the unemployment rate, edging up to 16.1 percent in February from a 15.9 percent in January. San Joaquin County recorded a tiny dip in February’s rate, going down to 13.1 percent, from 13.2 percent in January.
The unemployment rate in the state was at 8 percent in February, down 0.1 percentage point from January, but up 1.4 percentage points from a year ago.
The nation’s unemployment rate for the same time period was at 7 percent.
For the second month in a row the Trade, transportation and Utilities industries recorded the highest rate of job losses in Stanislaus County. The EDD recorded an approximate 700 fewer positions in that sector for the month. The majority of the losses were from seasonal positions coming to an end in general merchandise and clothing stores. While the sector did post a decline for the month, it is up for the year by an estimated 1,400 positions, the EDD reported. The majority of those job gains have been in the transportation, warehousing, and utilities industries, which has recorded an increase of 11.2 percent for the year.
The only other sector to post a job decline for the month in Stanislaus County was construction, which saw a drop of about 300 jobs in February.
The manufacturing sector, which includes all the food processing plants and is key to Stanislaus County’s economy, posted a modest job gain in February after several months of decline. The sector typically sees greater job gains in the spring and summer months as crops are harvested.
Locally, all the cities and census designated places in Stanislaus County saw minimal increases for the month. Turlock’s unemployment rate rose from 10 percent in January to 10.1 percent in February. Denair’s grew to 7.3 percent from a 7.2 percent the month prior. Hughson saw an increase from 17.3 percent to 17.4 percent, as did Keyes, which saw an increase from 23.3 percent in January to 23.5 percent in February. Ceres saw a tiny bump from 16.5 percent to 16.6 percent.
The EDD also tracks help wanted advertisements to gauge which professions and businesses are seeing growth. In Stanislaus County the 10 professions with the most help wanted ads in February were: Registered Nurses – 375; Customer Service Representatives – 238; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 200; Retail Salespersons – 170; Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing – 129; Insurance Sales Agents – 127; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers – 126; Physical Therapists – 124; First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers – 97; First-Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support – 93.
The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for February in Stanislaus County were: TruStaff – 128; E. & J. Gallo Winery – 105; Tenet Healthcare Corporation – 92; Supplemental Health Care – 90; Ceres Unified School District – 78; Kaiser Permanente – 55; Sutter Health – 53; Miceli Watters, Staffing Partners – 45; Sysco – 39; Shomax – 38.