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Stanislaus County unemployment rate skyrockets amid COVID-19 shutdowns
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The shutdowns from the coronavirus pandemic caused the unemployment rate in Stanislaus County to shoot up to 17 percent in April, according to the latest data from the Employment Development Department.

The rate is more than double the revised rate of 8.4 percent posted in March and well above the year-ago estimate of 6.2 percent. In February, prior to the statewide stay-at-home-order, Stanislaus County had an unemployment rate of 6.6 percent.

The rate of 17 percent is just below Stanislaus County's peak unemployment of 18.3 percent posted in February 2010 during the Great Recession.

An estimated 22,200 Stanislaus County residents were unemployed in April, according to the EDD.

Every sector in Stanislaus County except one posted job losses for the month of April and fell below the rates posted in April 2019.

The Leisure and Hospitality sector led the county in job losses, with a decline of approximately 5,400 jobs. The sector has lost an estimated 6,000 jobs compared to April 2019.

Professional and Business Services lost an estimated 3,700 jobs and Educational and Health Services recorded a decline of about 3,500 jobs, the EDD reported. For the year-ago numbers, Professional and Business Services lost 3,500 jobs and Educational and Health Services lost 2,600.

Within the Professional and Business services sector, the category of administrative, support and waste services recorded 10.3 percent fewer jobs compared to last year. In the Educational and Health Services, education services was down by 7.1 percent for the year and health care and social assistance jobs dropped by 7.6 percent for the year.

Mining, Logging and Construction saw a drop of 3,100 jobs and Trade, Transportation and Utilities posted 2,600 fewer jobs. For the year-ago rate, Mining, Logging and Construction is down by approximately 3,200 jobs and Trade, Transportation and Utilities is down by about 1,800 jobs.

The Trade, Transportation and Utilities sector includes retail and wholesale trade, which combined saw 14.4 percent fewer jobs than last year. Within the retail trade, clothing and accessories stores reported the largest drop in unemployment, with a 40 percent loss in jobs.

Government and other services saw estimated job declines of 1,300 each for the month. The Government sector is down by about 700 jobs for the year and other services has dropped an estimated 1,300 jobs. An estimated 25 percent of the job losses for the year in the Government sector came at the state level, not including education jobs.

Manufacturing fell by 700 jobs for the month and is down by approximately 1,300 jobs from the year-ago rate. Manufacturing of durable goods took the largest hit in the sector, accounting for 14.3 percent fewer jobs than last year, according to the EDD.

Farming jobs fell by about 300 positions and Financial Services declines by about 200 positions. Farming jobs are down by approximately 1,600 for the year and Financial Services is down 200 jobs from the year-ago rate.

The only sector in Stanislaus County that did not post a job decline for the month was the Information sector, which was flat for the month and the year-ago rate.

Merced County posted an unemployment rate of 18.8 percent for April and San Joaquin had an April unemployment rate of 18.3 percent.

California’s unemployment rate rose to a record high 15.5 percent in April as the state’s employers lost 2,344,700 nonfarm payroll jobs, according to the EDD's data from two surveys. The unprecedented job losses are like nothing before seen in California history in a current data series that dates back to 1976, and are a direct result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every single county in California posted unemployment rates in the double digits for April.

The number of unemployed Californians was 2,885,300 in April, an increase of 1,833,100 over the month and up by 2,078,800 compared with April of last year.

In related data that figures into the state’s unemployment rate, there were 1,889,250 people certifying for Unemployment Insurance benefits during the April 2020 sample week. This is a sample week that includes the 19th of each month. That compares to 424,645 people in the sample week of March 2020 and 364,431 people in the sample week of April 2019. Concurrently, 325,516 initial claims were processed in the April 2020 sample week, which was a month-over increase of 139,037 claims from March 2020 and a year-over increase of 281,485 claims from April 2019.

The unemployment rate in Turlock for April was at 14.4 percent. Denair had a rate of 15.9 percent. Hughson was at 13.3 percent for April, while Keyes came in at 17.7 percent. Ceres had an April unemployment rate of 17.5 percent.