Job declines in three separate sectors spurred an increase in the unemployment rate in Stanislaus County for the month of December, according to the latest release of data from the Employment Development Department.
The December unemployment rate in the county was at 8.3 percent, up from a revised rate of 7.9 percent posted in November, according to the EDD. The rate is below the year-ago estimate of 9.1 percent.
The decline was precipitated by drops in employment in the farming, construction and manufacturing sectors, which all total amounted to a decrease of approximately 2,000 positions.
The largest drop came in the farming sector, which posted a decrease of an estimated 1,400 positions in December. Historically, the farming sector records job declines after the end of the harvest season, however, the sector is down when compared to the previous year. In 2015, the county had about 12,600 people employed in farm labor and in December 2016 that number had dropped to an estimated 12,000.
Stanislaus County also saw declines in the construction and manufacturing sectors in December. Both sectors dropped by about 300 positions, according to the EDD. However, both sectors posted job growth when compared to the year-over rates. Construction is up by about 500 positions and manufacturing is up by an estimated 700 positions.
Four sectors posted job growth for the month of December in Stanislaus County. Trade, Transportation, and Utilities and the Government sectors were both up by about 200 positions. Financial Activities and Educational and Health Services each added an estimated 100 positions for the month. Each of the four sectors also ended the year with job rates higher than the previous year, according to the EDD.
California's unemployment rate was 5% in December.
Ceres had an unemployment rate of 8.9 percent in December, up from the 8.5 percent in November. Keyes had a rate of 13.5 percent in December, up from the 12.9 percent in November. Hughson had a December rate of 11.9 percent, up from the 11.4 percent posted in November. Turlock had an unemployment rate of 7.4 percent in December, up from 7 percent posted in November. Denair had a rate of 4.7 percent in December, up slightly from the 4.5 percent posted in November.
The occupations with the most help wanted ads in Stanislaus County for December were: Registered Nurses - 473; Heavy and Tractor-Trailer Truck Drivers - 440; Retail Salespersons - 155; First-Line Supervisors of Retail Sales Workers - 135; Security Guards - 105; Customer Service Representatives - 103; Office Clerks, General - 193; Maintenance and Repair Workers - 85; Light Truck and Delivery Service Drivers - 83; and Janitors and Cleaners, Except Maids and Housekeeping - 82.
The 10 companies that posted the most help wanted ads for December in Stanislaus County were: West Suburban Medical Center - 209; The Hospitals of Providence - 139; Tenet Healthcare Corporation - 111; Sutter Health - 91; Ceres Unified School District - 74; TruStaff - 60; Robert Half International - 54; California State University System - 51; Modesto City Schools - 46; and Turlock Unified School District - 45.