Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate edged up a bit in July, in part because fewer people worked for public schools last month. Almost all schools were closed during July for summer vacation.
California’s Employment Development Department reported Stanislaus’ unadjusted unemployment rate was 11.4 percent in July, compared with 11 percent in June and 13 percent in July 2013.
Besides the drop in school employment, there were fewer agricultural jobs in Stanislaus last month than in the past.
The county’s total farm employment dropped 6 percent this July compared with July 2013, as 900 ag jobs disappeared. Last month an estimated 14,100 people worked on farms in Stanislaus, which was 1 of 12 people working in the county.
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Retail trade jobs increased nearly 2 percent compared with last year, hitting 22,000. Health care jobs increased more than 3 percent to 20,200.
Merced County’s unemployment rate was 12.7 percent last month. It was 11.1 percent in San Joaquin County and 8.1 percent in Tuolumne County.
California’s unemployment rate held steady at 7.4 percent in July, but two surveys used to calculate the rate showed different results, the Employment Development Department reported.
EDD said its survey of businesses in the state found an increase of about 27,700 jobs. But a federal survey of households used to calculate the unemployment rate found 31,000 fewer jobs in July than in June.
That leaves the state in a holding pattern, with the same jobless rate as June, although it improved from 9 percent unemployment in July 2013.
Michael Bernick, a former EDD director and a fellow at the Milken Institute economic think tank, said the two reports state officials use to measure employment sometimes conflict because they survey different groups.
But he said a gain of about 27,000 jobs in July is consistent with California’s share of the national economy and reflects people re-entering the job market. The unemployment rate does not include people who have stopped looking for work.
“We’ve had steady growth since, really, February of 2010,” Bernick said. “This continues the narrative and is pretty much in line with our share of the national economy.”