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Unemployment rate grows as seasonal jobs end
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January               13.3%

December           12%

November          12.2%

October             11.6%

September         11%

The start of 2014 brought in an increase of unemployed individuals in Stanislaus County, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County came in at 13.3 percent in January, up from a revised rate of 12 percent in December 2013 and below the year-ago estimate of 15.3 percent.

The rise in unemployment was largely spurred by a drop in jobs in the trade, transportation, and utilities industries, particularly at clothing and general merchandise stores. The retail sector historically reports job losses at the start of the year as seasonal positions added for the holidays comes to an end. Clothing and clothing accessory stores saw a 13 percent decline in jobs for January while general merchandise stores recorded a 12.1 percent dip, according to the EDD data.

Other industries to see job declines in January in the county were leisure and hospitality, which had a 2.5 percent drop with an estimated 400 fewer jobs, and educational and health services, which dropped an estimated 200 positions at the start of the year.

In spite of seeing month over job losses, Stanislaus County did see significant job growth between January 2013 and January 2014. All the industries but one have either reported job growth in the year over or steady rates. The only industry to report a job decline was the manufacturing sector, which in Stanislaus County is heavily reliant on food production, which usually picks up as crops start coming in.

The estimated labor force in Stanislaus County was at 238,200 with approximately 31,600 unemployed, according to the EDD.

Neighboring counties also recorded increases in their unemployment rates. Merced County jumped from 14.2 percent in December to 15.9 percent in January. San Joaquin rose from 12.1 percent in December to 13.2 percent in January.

California’s unemployment rate decreased to 8.1 percent in January and the nation’s fell to 6.6 percent for the same time frame. The EDD reported the number of Californians holding jobs in January was over 17 million, which is an estimated 50,000 more than in December, and up by about 219,000 from January 2013.

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 495,273 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during the January 2014 survey week. This compares with 504,558 last month and 519,632 last year. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 73,040 in January 2014, compared with 73,458 in December and 68,907 in January of last year.

Turlock’s unemployment rate rose from 9.2 percent in December to 10 percent in January. Denair’s grew to 7.2 percent from a 6.6 percent the month prior. Hughson saw an increase from 16 percent to 17.3 percent, as did Keyes, which saw an increase from 21.7 percent in December to 23.3 percent in January. Ceres saw a bump from 15.3 percent to 16.5 percent.

The EDD also tracks help wanted advertisements to gauge which professions and businesses are seeing growth. In Stanislaus County the 10 professions with the most help wanted ads in January were: Registered Nurses – 373; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 173; Retail Salespersons – 153; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers – 147; Customer Service Representatives – 133; Physical Therapists – 113; First-Line Supervisors of Production and Operating Workers – 101; Insurance Sales Agents – 91; Occupational Therapists – 89; and Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing – 87.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for January in Stanislaus County were: E. & J. Gallo Winery – 128; TruStaff – 87; Supplemental Health Care – 82; Tenet Healthcare Corporation – 77; Kaiser Permanente – 58; Sutter Health – 55; Miceli Watters, Staffing Partners – 41; Modesto City Schools – 39; Soliant – 37; and The Dollar General – 36.