Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate of 11.1 percent for January was the lowest for that month in several years. The last time the county had a better January was in 2008, when the unemployment rate was 10.7 percent.
The California Employment Development Department released January unadjusted unemployment rates by county Tuesday. Despite an encouraging January, Stanislaus County and the rest of the Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothills lag behind the state and nation.
The Employment Development Department reported the January unadjusted unemployment rates were 7.3 percent for California and 6.1 percent for the nation. The rates were 14 percent in Merced, 10.6 percent in San Joaquin, 8.3 percent in Tuolumne and 7.6 percent in Calaveras counties.
Stanislaus County’s January unemployment rate was up from a revised December rate of 10.4 percent. But EDD labor market consultant Nati Martinez said that is a typical post-holiday pattern, as seasonal jobs are eliminated. For instance, the county’s retail trade sector lost 1,400 jobs, from 23,600 in December to 22,400 in January.
The pattern held true for the rest of the Valley and foothills. For instance, San Joaquin County saw its unemployment rate rise from 10 percent in December to 10.6 percent in January.
Martinez said Stanislaus County had strong year-over-year job growth, adding 4,900 jobs from January 2014 to this January. The county had 173,700 jobs as of January.
Over the year, the county lost 1,300 manufacturing jobs, while adding 1,700 in education and health services, 1,500 in professional and business services, and 900 in trade, transportation and utilities. The county’s top five industries in terms of jobs are trade, transportation and utilities (35,200 jobs), education and health services (31,100), government (26,600), manufacturing (18,300), and leisure and hospitality (16,900).
Stanislaus County had 11,900 farm jobs in January.
Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at email@example.com or (209) 578-2316.