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End of seasonal retail jobs sends jobless rate upward
Jobless Claims Graphic 9

The start of 2015 saw Stanislaus County experience an increase in the ranks of the unemployed, especially as seasonal retail jobs came to a close, according to the latest report from the Employment Development Department.

Stanislaus County had a January unemployment rate of 11.1 percent, up from a revised rate of 10.4 percent posted in December 2014. The unemployment rate did fall below the year-ago estimate of 13 percent, the EDD reported.

California had an unadjusted unemployment rate of 7.3 percent in January and the nation had an unemployment rate of 6.1 percent for the same time period. Within California, San Mateo County had the lowest unemployment rate in January with 3.9 percent, while Colusa County came in with the highest rate of 23.2 percent.

Stanislaus County's uptick in unemployment was largely driven by an end to seasonal jobs in the retail sector. The Trade, Transportation, and Utilities sector recorded a decline of approximately 1,700 positions between December 2014 and January 2015. Of those losses, 13.6 percent came from clothing and accessory stores and 10.3 percent came from general merchandise stores.

The only two sectors in Stanislaus County to post a growth in jobs for the month of January were Professional and Business Services and Government, which each added an estimated 100 positions for the month, according to the EDD.

For the month of January Stanislaus County had a labor force estimated at 240,800 with about 214,000 employed and 26,700 unemployed. The county is ranked 43rd for employment rates out of 58 counties.

Ceres had an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent in January, down from 13.1 percent. Hughson had a January rate of 15.8 percent, up from 13.8 percent. Keyes saw their rate fall from 18.9 percent in December to 17.8 percent in January.

The jobs and professions having the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for January were: Registered Nurses - 448; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers - 430; Retail Salespersons - 161; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales - 146; Customer Service Representatives - 124; Maintenance and Repair Workers, General - 105; Medical and Health Services Managers - 91; Sales Representatives, Wholesale and Manufacturing - 85; First Line supervisors of Production and Operating Workers - 83; and Physical Therapists - 80.