A spike in government hiring led to a drop in Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate in September.
Statistics released Friday by the California Employment Development Department show the county’s jobless rate at 7.6 percent, down from a revised 8.4 percent in August and 9.5 percent in September 2014.
California’s unemployment rate fell to 5.9 percent in September, the lowest it’s been in nearly eight years. The EDD said the state’s jobless rate dropped two-tenths of a percentage point, down from 6.1 percent in August, as a result of payroll gains.
The national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.1 percent.
To the south, Merced County’s September jobless rate stood at 8.2 percent, down from 9.5 percent in August and 10.1 percent in September 2014.
The last time California’s unemployment rate was 5.9 percent was back in November 2007.
While the state’s job market continues to expand, it grew at a slower pace. The agency said California added 8,200 jobs in September, following a gain of 42,000 jobs in August.
The state’s survey found a total of 16,500 jobs were gained by construction, trade, transportation and utilities, information, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, government, and other services. In Stanislaus County, government was the biggest gainer, adding more than 1,000 jobs.
But four categories – mining and logging, manufacturing, financial activities and educational and health services – reported a loss of 8,300 jobs.
The overall number of people unemployed was down by 43,000 since August and stands at 1.1 million. That figure doesn’t include Californians who have stopped looking for work, or people working part time who would rather be working full time.