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September marks best month for employment in 2023

For the first time in 2023, unemployment rates in Stanislaus County, Merced County, California and the United States all dropped in the same month, according to preliminary data provided by the State of California Employment Development Department.

The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.6 percent in September compared to 3.9 percent in August. Similarly, California’s rate was 4.9 percent last month compared to 5.1 percent the month prior. Stanislaus and Merced counties also did their part. 

The rate went from 6.4 percent to 5.1 percent in Stanislaus County, translating to approximately 1,300 positions filled and 14,400 individuals without work. Meanwhile, Merced County’s dropped from 8.9 percent to 7.7 percent, translating to about 1,200 jobs filled and 8,800 folks still unemployed.

Turlock’s unemployment rate by September’s end was 5.1 percent, or about 1,800 people without a job. Hughson’s rate was 8.4 percent in the month, translating to roughly 300 without work. As for Denair, Hilmar and Keyes, they each reported approximately 100 individuals unemployed.

In Stanislaus County, the biggest contributors to the rate rebound were the local government, education and health care social assistance industries, who each added 500 jobs in September. Over in Merced County, the farming industry added 2,200 jobs. The second largest growth came from the local government, adding 900 jobs.

Despite the large increases in staff across the sector, there are still 1,669 health care and social assistance job postings active between both counties. As the holiday season rapidly approaches, retailers are also looking to hire. There are 650 retail jobs open throughout the two counties.