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Unemployment sees slight increase
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The unemployment rate rose again in February, albeit slightly, and remains below the year-ago estimates, according to the latest number of Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate for February in Stanislaus County was at 7.5 percent, up from a revised rate of 7.4 percent in January, and below the year-ago estimate of 9 percent.

Most sectors in Stanislaus County saw job growth for the month, except two which stayed flat and two others that posted job losses for the month.

The early arrival of blossoms on the trees heralded in an increase in farm labor, with the sector adding an estimated 400 positions in February, according to the EDD.

Other sectors posting job increases include: Mining, Logging, and Construction (300); Manufacturing (200); Information (100); Educational and Health Services (100); Leisure and Hospitality (200); and Government (300).

Even though Manufacturing posted a job growth for the month, it is down for the year, by an estimated 600 positions. Most of those declines were in food manufacturing.

The two sectors that remained flat were: Financial Activities and Other Services. The sectors that recorded job declines for the month were: Professional and Business Services (200) and Trade, Transportation, and Utilities (200).

Merced County had a February unemployment rate of 10.6 percent, up from 9.9 percent in January. San Joaquin County had an unemployment rate of 7.1 percent, up slightly from 7 percent in January.

The unemployment rate in California was at 4.5 percent, while the nation’s was at 4.4 percent for the same time period.

Turlock’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent in February, down from 5.9 percent in January. Denair’s rate stayed at 6 percent for the month. Hughson had a February rate of 6.2 percent, which was a slight increase from the 6.1 percent posted in January. Keyes had a rate of 14.4 percent in February, which was an increase from the 14.3 percent posted in January. Ceres had an unemployment rate of 8.6 percent in February, up from the 7.9 percent in January.

The occupations with the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for February were: Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers – 608; Registered Nurses – 326; Retail Salespersons – 152; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers – 126; First-Line Supervisors of Food Preparation and Serving Workers – 103; Teacher Assistants – 98; Maintenance and Repair Workers – 98; Customer Service Representatives – 93; Light Truck or Delivery Services Drivers – 92; and Security Guards – 87.

The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for February in Stanislaus County were: Tenet Healthcare Corporation – 190; Ceres Unified School District – 116; Modesto City Schools – 84; E&J Gallo – 81; Sutter Health – 77; Kaiser Permanente – 67; Robert Half International – 62; Turlock Unified School District – 57; Starbucks – 54; and Autozone, Inc. – 53.