For those who live in the Stanislaus County, as well as pretty much the entire San Joaquin Valley, the unemployment rate is a reminder of how slim the pickings are in the local job market.
According to Employment Development Department, in June the county’s unemployment rate remained at 11.1 percent, the same as it had been in May. While not improving month-to-month, it has improved about 2 percent from June of last year when the rate was 13.3 percent.
Merced County’s unemployment rate is 12.3 percent and San Joaquin County’s is 10.5 percent.
In comparison coastal counties like San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo all have unemployment rates at 4.5 percent or less.
In good news, the statewide unemployment rate is 7.4 percent, the lowest level since 2008. Approximately 24,000 jobs were gained statewide with education and healthcare adding 12,200 jobs in June. However, the construction industry lost 9,500 jobs.
The national unemployment rate is a smudge below the California average, at 6.1 percent.
Unemployment rates do not include people who have stopped looking for work.
In a prepared statement, Assemblymember Kristin Olsen (R-Modesto) said the drought plagues the Valley’s economy.
“While I am pleased that California’s employment rates continue to improve, we cannot forget that counties such as the ones I represent are still suffering from double-digit unemployment,” said Olsen. “Our state's terrible drought has cost billions of dollars and tens of thousands of agricultural jobs. The small businesses and families impacted by this tragedy have not yet had an opportunity to recover from the Great Recession, and they need state leaders to focus on policies that will spur economic growth.”
“I look forward to working with my colleagues to make California worthy of investment once more by reducing costs on employers, streamlining bureaucracy, improving education, increasing water supply, and making government more transparent and efficient,” continued Olsen.