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Unemployment makes modest gain in May

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County saw some marginal gains in May as the economy began re-opening from the two-month statewide shutdown, according to the latest numbers from the Employment Development Department.

Stanislaus County's May unemployment rate came in at 16.1 percent, which is down from the revised rate of 17.5 percent in April, but well above the year-ago estimate of 5.6 percent.

Several sectors posted job gains for the month, but every sector is down in jobs when compared to the year-ago rate, according to the EDD. When looking at all sectors, the county is down by approximately 27,100 jobs when compared to the same time last year.

The Farming sector, which typically picks up in the late spring and early summer, was responsible for almost half of all the jobs added in the county for the month of May. All industries added approximately 5,600 positions, of which, an estimated 2,000 came from the Farming sector. As a whole, the sector is down by an estimated 1,600 positions.

The Mining, Logging and Construction sector added about 1,700 jobs for the month, but is down by about 1,800 jobs from a year ago, the EDD reported.

Professional and Business Services also added around 1,700 jobs for the month of May. The sector is down from the year ago rate by an estimated 1,700 positions.

Other sectors that posted job gains in May were Manufacturing (700), Educational and Health Services (300), and Leisure and Hospitality (600). Leisure and Hospitality is the sector that has taken the biggest hit from the shutdown, with the sector down an estimated 9,000 jobs compared to a year ago. The Educational and Health Services sector is down by approximately 2,500 jobs and manufacturing is down by about 1,400 positions.

Within the Manufacturing sector, the majority of the losses have come in durable goods.

Two sectors in Stanislaus County recorded job losses for the month of May. The Government sector was down by an estimated 1,000 positions for the month and 1,300 for the year. Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which includes retail, was down by about 400 jobs for the month and 6,000 for the year, according to the EDD.

Stanislaus County had a May labor force of 233,300, with 195,700 employed and 37,500 unemployed, according to the EDD.

Merced County had a May unemployment rate of 16.5 percent. San Joaquin County had a May unemployment rate of 16.6 percent.

California’s unemployment rate experienced a minimal drop to 16.3 percent in May as the state’s employers added 141,600 jobs, according to data released Friday by the California Employment Development Department from two surveys. This comes after rapidly-evolving data prompted a statistical revision to a larger than initially estimated April job loss of 2,415,000 and an upward-revised unemployment rate of 16.4 percent. April’s revisions reflect unprecedented job losses never before seen in California’s history in a current data series that dates back to 1976 that are a direct result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the state’s unemployment rate of 16.31 percent is slightly lower than the record high set in April 2020, it is still far higher than the 12.3 percent it was at during the height of the Great Recession.

Turlock had a May unemployment rate of 13.9 percent; Denair had a rate of 15 percent; Ceres was at 17.1 percent; Hughson had a rate of 12.5 percent; and Keyes was at 16.7 percent.