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Jobless rate drops in Lode

Mother Lode unemployment numbers dipped slightly over the past month, according to labor statistics released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The preliminary unemployment rate in Tuolumne County during August was 11.3 percent, down from 11.6 percent the previous month and 11.7 percent in June. It’s also down from 12.3 percent unemployed in August 2011, according to the statistics.


“Any degree of deviance is significant when you’re talking about a rural county because the numbers are affected more by any changes,” said EDD analyst Pedro Vargas. 

The mining and logging industries posted the biggest job growth from July, adding 20 jobs for a 12.5 percent increase. However, manufacturing lost the most jobs in August, decreasing 3.3 percent from 910 jobs to 880.

Despite the drop in unemployment, there were less employed civilians in Tuolumne County during August, which corresponds with decreasing labor force numbers. 

According to the EDD, the overall workforce in the county last month was 25,740 people, a loss of 130 from July.

Civilian workforce numbers include self-employed individuals, unpaid family workers, household domestic workers and workers on strike.

In Calaveras County, the unemployment rate was 12.6 percent last month, which was down from 13 percent in July. The rate has dropped nearly 2 percentage points since August 2011 when it was 14.3 percent.

The biggest job growth was seen in the transportation, warehousing and utilities industry, adding 10 jobs since July for a 4.3 percent increase. But local government lost 40 jobs last month, which was the greatest loss of any industry in the county.

Similar to Tuolumne County, the overall civilian workforce in Calaveras County declined from 19,660 people in July to 19,510 last month.

“What might be happening is they’re going to another county to work, so they won’t be showing up in either the Tuolumne or Calaveras statistics,” Vargas said.

Both counties still have a higher unemployment rate than the state, which decreased to 10.6 percent in August. 

The state also added 12,000 nonfarm payroll jobs to the workforce over the month, according to the EDD statistics.

The nationwide unemployment rate decreased slightly last month to 8.1 percent.

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