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County's unemployment shows marginal improvement
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The unemployment news in Stanislaus County got a little less bleak with the release of the latest figures from the Economic Development Department.

The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County fell from a revised 18.2 percent in April to 17.3 percent in May. The dip can largely be attributed to hirings in the agricultural industry, which brought in 2,900 more jobs in May, according to the EDD. Labor Market Analyst Liz Bakes has said that Stanislaus County typically sees decreases in the unemployment rate during the summer months as harvest season reaches its peak.

About 1,200 jobs in nonfarm industries were added in May.

The surrounding counties also saw decreases for May. Merced County recorded an 18.1 percent unemployment rate, compared to 19.9 percent in April. San Joaquin County was at 16.2 percent, down from 17.7 percent.

California's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate was 12.4 percent in May, down 0.1 percentage point from April, and up 1.1 percentage points from one year ago. In comparison, the U.S. unemployment rate was 9.7 percent in May, down 0.2 percentage point from April, and up 0.3 percentage point from one year ago.

Within nonfarm industries, six sectors saw month-over job gains, four sectors saw month-over job declines, and one sector remained unchanged. The sectors with increased employment in May were: Government (30,000); information (4,700); professional and business services (4,200); leisure and hospitality (3,600); other services, (2,400); and manufacturing (1,300). Sectors that lost jobs in May, in order of job loss magnitude, were: Trade, transportation and utilities (9,600); education and health services (5,100); construction (2,200); and financial activities (1,000). Mining and logging remained unchanged over the month.

The lowest unemployment rate among California counties in May was 7.9 percent in Marin. In all, 24 counties had rates below 12.0 percent. The highest unemployment rate in May was 27.5 percent in Imperial. In total, 11 counties had rates above 17.0 percent.