Unemployment rates throughout Central Valley better than expected

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The Employment Development Department has several programs available for job assistance, including the Youth Employment Opportunity Program.

Looking for a new job? The new year may be a good time to seek employment.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 6 million open jobs at the end of October 2017. Throughout the month, 5.6 million hires were made as well as 5.2 million separations (including layoffs, discharges and employees who quit).

In the Central Valley, workers are reaping the benefits of new job openings and the unemployment rate is improving.

San Joaquin County is beating expectations. Last year’s estimate was at 7.6 percent unemployment, but in both October and November the County clocked in at 6.2 percent.

It’s still higher than the California unadjusted unemployment rate of 4 percent and the U.S. rate of 3.9 percent.

For the past two years, San Joaquin County (the Stockton-Lodi metropolitan statistical area) has experienced some ebbs and flows, but since July 2017, the trend has been going in the right direction.

Stanislaus County (the Modesto metropolitan statistical area) saw similar numbers. The unemployment rate for both October and November 2017 was 6.2 percent, below the year-ago estimate of 7.8 percent. The County has experienced a steady fall in unemployment percentages since July 2017.

Merced County (the Merced metropolitan statistical area) didn’t fare quite as well, but still performed better than expected. The unemployment percentage in November was 7.8, up from 7.1 percent in October but down from the year-ago estimate of 9.4 percent.

Before November 2017, Merced County was experiencing similar trends to San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, with a steady drop in the unemployment rates from July 2017 to October 2017.

Farming and manufacturing took the biggest hits in all three counties from October to November with small decreases in overall employment throughout the county (but not enough to change to percentages). In San Joaquin and Stanislaus counties, trade, transportation and utilities experienced the most growth in this time frame. In Merced County, the most October to November growth was in government jobs.

From November 2016 to the preliminary data gathered for November 2017, total employment is up.

All three counties experienced the most growth from November 2016 to November 2017 in non-farming industries. In San Joaquin County, construction, government and trade, transportation and utilities saw the most job growth. In Stanislaus County mining, logging and construction and hospitality and leisure faired best and in Merced County the biggest gains were in manufacturing and leisure and hospitality.

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