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Unemployment rate makes small improvement

The second month of the year saw the unemployment rate take a slight dip in Stanislaus County, according to the Employment Development Department’s latest report.

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County was at 7.2 percent in February. The rate was down a little from the 7.4 percent recorded in January and below the year-ago estimate of 7.4 percent.

The small drop largely came from gains in the Farming, Government, and Manufacturing sectors. Farming added approximately 500 positions in February, while the Government sector added an estimated 300 new positions. Of those, the majority came at the school districts within the county.

Manufacturing had a job growth of about 200 positions for the month, most of which came from food manufacturing. The sector is down approximately 1,400 jobs from this same time last year, according to the EDD.

Educational and Health Services and Leisure and Hospitality each added about 200 new jobs for the month.

The two sectors reporting job declines for the month were Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Financial Activities each posted declines of approximately 100 positions for the month. Within Trade, Transportation and Utilities most of the job losses came at clothing and accessory stores and general merchandise stores.

The unemployment rate in Merced County was at 10.7 percent in February, up from 10.3 percent posted in January. San Joaquin County had an unemployment rate of 7 percent, down from 7.2 percent in January.

California’s unemployment rate was at 4.4 percent for the month and the nation’s was at 4.1 percent for the same time period.

Turlock’s unemployment rate fell to 5.1 percent in February, down from 5.3 percent in January. Denair’s rate was at 4 percent in February, down from 4.1 percent in January. Hughson had a February rate of 7. 4 percent, a decline from the 7.6 percent posted in January. Keyes saw a drop from 10 percent in January to 9.7 percent in February. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 8.2 percent in February, down from the 8.5 percent in January.