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Stanislaus, Merced each see October unemployment spikes

Both Stanislaus and Merced counties recorded a rise in unemployment during the month of October, according to data released by the State of California Employment Development Department (EDD). The statistics continue a year-long streak of inconsistency, as unemployment rates have gone up and down in the two counties each month thus far in 2022.

In both counties, the unemployment rate rose by .2 percent while seeing decreases in labor force of over 1 percent. In Stanislaus County, the unemployment rate currently sits at an even 5 percent in a labor force of 239,000. Meanwhile, Merced County has an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent with a labor force of 117,700. These numbers compare to a 3.8 percent unemployment rate in the state of California and a national rate of 3.5 percent.

Turlock’s unemployment rate was 4.2 percent representing 1,400 unemployed individuals. In neighboring Denair, the rate was 7.2 percent representing 200 individuals. In Hilmar, the rate was 1.8 percent representing less than 100 individuals experiencing unemployment, remaining the lowest rate in the Turlock Journal’s coverage area. Hughson had similar numbers with just over 100 unemployed individuals, setting a rate of 3.5 percent. Keyes also had just above 100 unemployed individuals for a 3.6 percent rate. In Livingston, the rate was 5.8 percent representing 400 unemployed individuals. Delhi also had 400 unemployed residents for a 7.2 percent rate, tying Denair for highest in the coverage area.

The industry that saw the biggest job loss in Stanislaus County was food manufacturing, as approximately 1,800 jobs were lost. A close second was the farming industry, which lost around 600 jobs, mainly due to the end of season for many crops. Over in Merced County, the farming industry was also one of the top industries in job loss, as around 100 positions were let loose.

While job loss has dominated this month’s round of reports from the EDD, there were several industries that continued to grow their work force.

For Stanislaus County, the largest growing sector was transportation and utilities with 400 new jobs. Retail jobs were the second highest growing with 300 new hires, which is common during the holiday season. For Merced County, finance jobs saw growth with 100 new hires, which was a significant 5.6 percent industry increase.

Despite unemployment rates increasing in both counties, the EDD reports that there are still industries with a high demand for new workers. The top employment sectors in Stanislaus County are the health care industry and retailers, which have a combined 3,043 online job listings.

Merced County is very similar, as the top hiring industry is also health care. Retail also lists high, but lands third highest behind the education sector. There are just over 1,000 combined online job listings for the three industries.