Stanislaus County's unemployment rate took a nice dip in the month of August and posted the lowest rate for the year as food processing of the area's crops ramped up.
The latest numbers from the Employment Development Department showed an unadjusted seasonal unemployment rate of 11.9 percent in August, down from a revised rate of 12.9 percent in July. The rate also was well below the year ago estimate of 14.2 percent.
The August rate is the lowest rate the county has seen so far this year.
"Historically, the unemployment rate drops from July to August in Stanislaus County," said Nati Martinez, EDD labor market analyst. "We're cyclical here because of seasonal factors, but when looking back at past August rates, the unemployment rate has made significant decreases."
In August 2012, the unemployment rate was at 14.2 percent. For August 2011, it was at 15.9 percent and in 2010 the August unemployment rate was at 16.3 percent, according to EDD figures.
California's unemployment rate was at 8.8 percent and the nation's was at 7.3 percent for the same time period.
The drop in Stanislaus County's unemployment rate was largely driven by an increase in jobs within the manufacturing and farm sectors.
For the month of August the manufacturing sector posted an estimated 2,700 new positions. Of those, 26.7 percent were in food processing, while the rest were split among a variety of industries, according to the EDD.
In the farming sector, approximately 1,100 positions were added in August, for a 7.5 percent increase from the month over and an increase of 0.6 percent from last year.
"We saw some positive numbers for the month over, which is good news," Martinez said.
Locally, the retail sector and that of leisure and hospitality both saw modest declines in unemployment in August. But both remain at higher employment levels than those from 2012, according to the EDD. Both saw an estimated drop of 100 positions each, however, both have increased hiring by an approximate 600 positions from last year.
Ceres had an unemployment rate of 14.8 percent in August, down from 16.2 percent in July. Hughson's unemployment fell to 15.5 percent in August, down from 16.9 percent in July. Keyes also saw a decrease in unemployment, going from 22.9 percent in July to 21.2 percent in August. In Turlock the unemployment rate dropped from 9.6 percent in July to 8.9 percent in August. Denair had one of the lowest unemployment rates in Stanislaus County for August at 6.4 percent, which is down from July's posting of 7.1 percent.