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Unemployment rates fall in Stanislaus County

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County fell in August as the region saw an increase among manufacturing and farming jobs, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate for August in Stanislaus County came in at 5.9 percent, down from a revised rate of 6.7 percent in July. The rate was a full percentage point lower that the 6.9 percent estimated for August one year ago, the EDD reported.

Several sectors within Stanislaus County recorded job gains for the month, with Manufacturing leading the list. The sector added an estimated 2,100 positions for the month, according to the EDD. Of those added positions, 19.4 percent were in food manufacturing, which typically increases their employment ranks to process the goods from the harvest season and then lays-off those workers when the season comes to an end.

Stanislaus County is actually down in manufacturing jobs by approximately 500 positions when looking at the rates recorded last year. Food manufacturing, long the base of employment in the county is down by 12.6 percent from last year, according to the EDD.

Farming added an estimated 700 positions for the month, followed by Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and Educational and Health Services, which each added an estimated 300 positions for the month. The only other sector to post job gains in August in the county was Construction, which added around 100 positions.

The sectors that saw job declines for the month of August in Stanislaus County were Professional and Business Services and Leisure and Hospitality, which each reported a decline of approximately 100 jobs. The Government sector reported a drop of about 300 jobs for the month, with 2 percent of those loses coming at the county level, according to the EDD.

The labor force in Stanislaus County for August was at 245,300, with an estimated 14,500 unemployed.

Merced County had an unemployment rate of 7 percent, down from the 8.1 percent posted in July. San Joaquin County’s unemployment rate was at 5.6 percent in August, down from the 6 percent recorded in July.

California’s unemployment was at 4.3 percent, while the nation’s was at 3.9 percent for the same time period.

The EDD reported that there were 306,175 people receiving regular Unemployment Insurance benefits during the August survey week in California. This compares with 323,594 in July and 340,670 in August of last year. At the same time, new claims for Unemployment Insurance were 35,925 in August, compared with 39,856 in July and 38,074 in August of last year.

Turlock’s unemployment rate dropped to 4.9 percent in August, down from 5.1 percent in July. Denair’s rate was at 4.7 percent in August, down from 5.4 percent in July. Hughson had an August rate of 4.9 percent, down from the 5.6 percent posted in July. Keyes saw a drop from 13.1 percent in July to 11.6 percent in August. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 6.5 percent in August, down from the 8.2 percent in July.

The occupations with the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for August were: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 531; Registered Nurses – 373; Retail Salespersons – 160; Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers – 121; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers – 104; Customer Service Representatives — 94; Teacher Assistants — 92; Laborers and Freight, Stock, and Material Movers, Hand — 90; Maintenance and Repair Workers – 88; and Security Guards – 80. 

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for August in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation – 174; Sutter Health –113; Modesto City Schools – 95; Ceres Unified School District – 94; Kaiser Permanente – 69; Nationwide Professional Resources, Inc. — 67; Turlock Unified School District – 63; Robert Half International — 61; Accountemps Nationwide Professional Resources, Inc. — 60; Foster Farms — 49.