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Unemployment creeps upward again
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Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate saw another slight increase in July, with an estimated 3,400 jobs lost during the month according to the latest figures from the Economic Development Department.

The county’s unadjusted seasonal unemployment rate in July reached 17.5 percent, up from a revised 17.2 percent in June and unchanged from the year-ago estimate of 17.5 percent. The EDD reported 41,100 people were unemployed in Stanislaus County in July.

The unemployment rate in Merced County remained unchanged in July at 18.7 percent. The rate in San Joaquin County grew sharply in July to 17.5 percent from a rate of 16.7 percent in June.

In California the unemployment rate reached 12 percent in July, up from 11.8 percent in June. The United States’ unemployment rate decreased in July to 9.1 percent, according to the EDD.

In Stanislaus County, farming related jobs took the biggest hit for the month with an estimated loss of 2,800 jobs, according to the EDD’s data.

Manufacturing industries in the county saw the largest increase in July among the different sectors, with an increase of 400 jobs. The growth was primarily in food and nondurable goods manufacturing.

In addition to having an unemployment rate that is almost double the national rate, workers in Stanislaus County had an average hourly wage that was roughly 7 percent below the national average, according to a recently released report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The bureau compiled data in May 2010 and found that of the 22 major occupational groups, the Modesto Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Stanislaus County, had eight groups with “significantly lower wages than their respective national averages.” Those groups include: management; arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media; and business and financial operations.

On the plus side, seven groups in the county had average wages higher than the national average. Those groups were: education, training, and library; healthcare practitioners and technical; and community and social service.

In Turlock, the unemployment rate rose to 13.4 percent in July, up from 13.2 percent in June. Denair’s rate rose from 9.6 percent to 9.7 percent for the month. Hughson’s rate grew to 22.4 percent from 22.2 percent and Keyes’ rate rose to 29.7 percent from 29.4 percent.

To contact Sabra Stafford, e-mail or call 634-9141 ext. 2002.