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Unemployment rate continues decline in Stanislaus County

Stanislaus County recorded an unemployment rate for March that is the lowest it’s been for the month since before the Great Recession began.

The March unemployment rate for the county came in at 10.4 percent, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department. The rate is a slight drop from the revised rate of 10.7 percent posted in February and below the year-ago estimate of 13.2 percent. The rate is also the lowest rate recorded in the month of March since the Great Recession began, a time when the area routinely posted unemployment rates in the 16 to 18 percent range.

Stanislaus County had an estimated labor force of 239,200 people in March, with approximately 214,300 employed and 24,900 unemployed, according to the EDD.

Stanislaus County saw only two sectors post job losses for the month of March. Manufacturing was down by an estimated 200 positions from the month before and the Leisure and Hospitality sector was down by about 100 positions, the EDD reported.

The only sector in Stanislaus County to record a job loss between March 2014 and March 2015 is the Manufacturing sector, which is down by about 1,800 positions. The sectors with the most job growth between that time are: Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (1,200); Professional and Business Services (1,300); and Educational and Health Services (1,900).

The unemployment rate in Merced County came in at 12.9 percent for March, down from 13.5 percent in February. The March unemployment rate for San Joaquin County was at 9.5 percent, down from 10.1 percent the month prior. California’s unemployment rate for March was at 6.5 percent and the nation’s was at 5.6 percent for the same time period.

The federal survey of households, done with a smaller sample than the survey of employers, shows an increase in the number of employed people. It estimates the number of Californians holding jobs in March was 17,713,000, an increase of 45,000 from February, and up 457,000 from the employment total in March of last year. The number of people unemployed in California was 1,223,000 – down by 53,000 over the month, and down by 250,000 compared with March of last year.

The EDD reported that there were 464,530 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the March survey week. This compares with 426,874 in February and 510,919 in March of last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 44,502 in March, compared with 43,302 in February and 52,755 in March of last year.

The unemployment rate in Turlock for March was at 9.3 percent, down slightly from a rate of 9.6 percent in February. Denair had a rate of 6 percent, down from the 6.2 percent recorded in February. Hughson had a March rate of 14.8 percent, a drop from the 15.3 percent recorded in February.  Keyes saw their rate fall from 17.3 percent in February to 16.8 percent in March. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent in March, down from 11.5 percent.

The jobs and professions having the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for March were: Registered Nurses — 507; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers — 453; Retail Salespersons — 169; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales — 145; Maintenance and Repair Workers, General — 136; Customer Service Representatives — 131; Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing — 104; Physical Therapists — 103; First Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers — 90; and First Line Supervisors of Office and Administrative Support —88.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for March in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation — 288; Ceres Unified School District — 105; TruStaff — 100; Sutter Health — 97; CTG - Computer Task Group — 92; Kaiser Permanente — 90; Robert Half International — 66; Supplemental Health Care — 57; Modesto City Schools — 47; and Centerline — 46.