Stanislaus County saw its jobless rate spike to the highest in 16 years as 44,600 people found themselves unemployed for the month of January.
The county hit 18.9 percent unemployment for the month, up from a revised 17.3 percent in December, according to data released Wednesday by the Employment Development Department.
The rate historically jumps from December to January, as holiday hires are let go and other industries slow down. Stanislaus county lost 1,000 retail jobs during that time period.
The unemployment rate also historically climbs from January to February, so the rate is expected to go up again when the EDD releases its February numbers at the end of this month.
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The January numbers are the highest since February 1994, when it peaked for that year at 19.1 percent.