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Unemployment rates spike to end 2023
• 8% of Ceres without jobs

Thousands of people in Stanislaus County rang in the new year without work, according to preliminary data provided by the State Employment Development Department (EDD).

Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate rose from 6.4% in November to 6.9% in December, translating to about 16,900 people without work. 

Those figures reported by the EDD are significantly higher than they were at this time in 2022, when each county had more than 2,500 fewer residents unemployed. In December of 2022, Stanislaus County had an unemployment rate of 5.3%. 

The December rate spikes are consistent with California as a whole, as the state’s rate rose to 5.1% — a 0.2% increase from November. Meanwhile, the national rate remained at 3.5%.

The farming industry saw the biggest loss of jobs, losing 1,600 workers in Stanislaus County, mostly due to colder and wetter weather setting in for the winter months. Additionally, roughly 600 local education jobs were let go in Stanislaus County. 

Among the only places in Stanislaus County seeing a spike in hiring during December were retail stores. Nevertheless, the growing popularity in online shopping for the holidays led to only 100 workers being hired in the industry. According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, online retail sales rose by 1.5% last month.

Ceres posted an unemployment rate of 8 percent, or 1,700, without jobs while Hughson saw a higher rate at 9.8 percent, or about 300 residents. Turlock posted an unemployment rate of 5.2%, or 1,800 individuals without work. 

Keyes each had roughly 100 folks without work for an unemployment rate of 4.6 percent.

The highest jobless rates listed were in the Bret Harte (12.9 percent) and Bystrum (13.1 percent) districts and Empire (11.1 percent).

The sector with the most demand for workers in Stanislaus County continues to be health care and social assistance, as there are over 1,600 current openings. Of those openings, there are currently 350 online job listings for registered nurses. Fittingly, the two top hiring companies in the county are Sutter Health and Doctors Medical Center. There are currently over 130 job listings between the two.