Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate stayed stuck at 13.3 percent in February, just like it was in January. The percentage of unemployed workers also stayed the same in California, 8.5 percent, and nationwide, 7 percent.
The just-released Employment Development Department data showed February’s unemployment rate was 16.1 percent in Merced County, 13.1 percent in San Joaquin County and an average of 9.9 percent in the Mother Lode counties of Tuolumne, Calaveras, Mariposa and Amador.
While there was no good news for out-of-work Valley residents last month, there have been employment gains compared with a year ago.
In Stanislaus, for example, 1,500 more residents had part- or full-time jobs this February compared with last February, when the unemployment rate was 14.6 percent.
The EDD survey also determined there are more jobs located in Stanislaus these days. During the past year, 3,000 new jobs were created within the county. That included 1,000 more leisure and hospitality employees, 800 more transportation and warehousing employees, and 500 more retail trade employees.
But some of Stanislaus’ key employment sectors – including construction, food manufacturing and farming – employed fewer people last month than a year ago.
Despite the massive expansion of almond orchards in the county, there were 300 fewer farmworkers this February compared with last. Food manufacturing jobs shrank by 600, and construction jobs declined by 300.