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Unemployment reaches new low in Stanislaus County
labor pic
The farming sector in the county has 1,500 more jobs than last year, according to the Employment Development Department. - photo by Journal file photo

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County continued a steady decline, with the area recording its lowest rate since climbing out of a hole of unemployment in the wake of the Great Recession.

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County came in at 9.3 percent for June, which is down from the revised rate in May of 9.5 percent and the year-ago estimate of 11 percent, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

“The unemployment rate is headed in the right direction; the last time that it was lower than 9.3 percent for this area was November 2007, when it was at 8.9 percent,” said Nati Martinez, a labor analyst for the EDD. “It is really good to see single digit numbers for our area.”

Stanislaus County had an estimated labor force of 242,300 people, with approximately 219,700 employed and 22,600 unemployed, according to the EDD.

Leading the area’s job growth in June was the farming sector, which added an estimated 1,000 positions between May and June. For the year over numbers, the farming sector is up by about 1,500 jobs, the EDD reported.

The construction sector also saw job growth for the month, with approximately 500 positions added. For the year over the sector is up by approximately 1,000 positions.

Other sectors in Stanislaus County reporting job gains in June were: Manufacturing (300); Trade, Transportation and Utilities (200); Professional and Business Services (100); and Leisure and Hospitality (100).

The only sector showing a decline in employment for June was the government sector, which was down by an estimated 400 positions. However, the majority of those come from local school districts, which typically re-fill the positions when school begins again.

For the year over, Stanislaus County has added an estimated 4,200 new jobs for a growth rate of 2.4 percent, said Martinez.

The unemployment rate for Merced County in June was at 10.5 percent, down from 11.1 percent in May. San Joaquin County had a June unemployment rate of 8.6 percent, which was the same rate reported in May.

California's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 6.3 percent in June, down 0.1 percentage point from May, and down 1.2 percentage points from one year ago. In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate was 5.3 percent in June, down 0.2 percentage point from May, and down 0.8 percentage point from one year ago, according to the EDD.

The unemployment rate in Turlock for June was at 8.3 percent, down from a rate of 8.6 percent in May. Denair had a rate of 5.3 percent, down from 5.5 percent recorded in May. Hughson had a June rate of 13.4 percent, a drop from the 13.7 percent recorded in May.  Keyes saw their rate fall from 15.5 percent in May to 15.2 percent in June. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 10 percent in June, down from 10.3 percent in May.

While the rate of unemployment is making improvements in Stanislaus County, a new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the area still lags behind when it comes to pay rates. The average worker in the Modesto metropolitan area, which includes Turlock, earned $20.71 per hour in May 2014, about 9 percent below the U.S. average of $22.71 per hour, according to the BLS report.

Those in the legal profession had the largest discrepancy in pay rate at 30 percent below the national average. Locally, the average hourly rate for someone in the legal profession was at $34.07 per hour in May 2014, while the national average was at $48.61 per hour for the same time period.

For those in healthcare, the news was far better. The average wage for healthcare practitioners and technical occupations in the area was 20 percent above the national average.


The jobs and professions having the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for June were: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers — 564; Registered Nurses — 504; Retail Salespersons — 180; Customer Service Representatives — 172; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales — 157; Maintenance and Repair Workers, General — 155; Physical Therapists — 128; Janitors and Cleaners, Except for Maids and Housekeepers — 120; Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing — 103; and Security Guards — 96.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for June in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation — 197; TruStaff — 116; Modesto City Schools — 93; Sutter Health — 84; Kaiser Permanente — 77; CTG - Computer Task Group — 73; Supplemental Health Care — 69; Ceres Unified School District — 69; Robert Half International — 61; and Stanislaus County Office of Education — 54.