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Stanislaus County unemployment rate ticks higher

The Stanislaus County jobless rate crept higher in June, rising as the overall labor force size also grew.

Stanislaus County jumped from 16.7 to 17.2 percent for June, unchanged from this time last year. At the same time, the labor force grew by about 3,500, an indication that more people have returned to the job market.

Statewide, tens of thousands of jobs were added in June, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday, but the economy continues to show a split personality, with strong gains in Silicon Valley and much weaker performance elsewhere.

While the Golden State is still “bouncing along” with good months and bad months, June was a good month, said Steve Levy, senior economist at the Center for the Continuing Study of the California Economy in Palo Alto. However, he noted, the gains were largely in tech-focused areas, especially San Jose and the broader Bay Area.

“This wasn’t a general jobs recovery, this was very specific,” Levy said.

The state added 28,800 payroll jobs last month, with only two sectors of the economy showing job declines. The net job gains in just five Bay Area counties totaled 12,600, about 44 percent of the total.

Two East Bay counties added more than 8,000 additional jobs. The gains, Levy said, largely reflected growth in the tech industry and sectors that serve it, including a rise in construction jobs.

At the same time, the Los Angeles-Long Beach metropolitan area lost 9,500 jobs, with big losses in higher education, professional schools and health care somewhat offset by gains in manufacturing. Riverside and San Bernardino counties lost 3,000 jobs.

The Fresno area added 400 jobs, but only because of a surge in farm employment; without agricultural employment, the area lost 2,000 jobs.

“One area, in one sector, did very well,” Levy said of the technology-led gains. The rest of California performed more like the nation as a whole in June, he said.

The U.S. unemployment rate climbed slightly to 9.2 percent in June, adding a net of just 18,000 jobs nationwide. The unemployment rate for May was 9.1 percent.

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released Friday showed the unemployment rate rose in June in 28 states, and declined in only eight.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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