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Home arrow News arrow Local News arrow Unemployment rate drops

Unemployment rate drops

For the first time in several months, the year-to-year unemployment rate
has dropped in Tuolumne County, according to the latest numbers from the
California Employment Development Department.

In addition, Calaveras County has tied its year-to-year rate, also a
trend change, as the year-to-year numbers, until now, had been on the rise.

The latest EDD numbers are for October.


Calaveras County's unemployment rate sits at 14.8 percent, while
Tuolumne County's is 12.9 percent, down from 13.2 percent one year ago.

Over the past month ‹ from September to October ‹ the unemployment rate
took a big drop in Tuolumne and Calaveras Counties.

Calaveras County's rate dropped a half a percent, going down from 15.3
percent, while Tuolumne County's dropped .3 percent, down from 13.1 percent.

Both counties are above the state unemployment average of 12 percent,
but well below the state's counties most plagued by high unemployment, most of them found in the Central Valley.

Imperial County has the state's highest rate, with 29.3 percent. The
state's lowest rate of 8.4 percent is found in Marin County.

Tuolumne County Chamber of Commerce President and CEO George Segarini
was pleased with the new unemployment numbers, but he fell short of saying the unemployment picture is on the mend.

"I think we're seeing the trend," he said. "It's definitely headed in
the right direction. We suspected that would be the case in our county."

Nonetheless, he added: "I was actually hoping it would be better."

Segarini said only when Tuolumne County has seen decreasing unemployment
numbers for a few months, will he assume the unemployment picture is on the mend.

Despite the positive year-to-year unemployment rate trend, the EDD's
labor force numbers suggest that the job picture isn't as positive as it
appears in Calaveras County.

On the year, Calaveras County's labor force numbers have decreased by
490 — either due people moving away or falling out of the labor force.

Critics also point out that official unemployment figures don't
adequately assess the job picture because they don't account for those who are under-employed ‹ that is working part-time when they want to work full-time — or have experienced wage cuts, or moved on to a lower-paying job.

Tuolumne County's year-to-year labor force numbers have actually
increased by 240.

Unlike Calaveras County, which has seen little economic activity over
the past two years, Tuolumne County, as noted by Tuolumne County Economic Development Authority Director Larry Cope, is seeing a lot of business developments.

In illustrating his point, Cope pointed out that a new Lowe's home improvement store is slated to open at the end of the year, a number of restaurants have recently opened downtown and in various shopping centers, a new nursing facility is under construction in Sonora and various small, local business have expanded.

Also, three large commercial projects have been proposed for Groveland — involving everything from hotels, restaurants and gas stations — and 200-home Jamestown subdivision is set to be considered at a Dec. 7 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Despite the economic activity, Tuolumne County does have some pockets deeply affected by the ongoing economic slump. For instance, according to the EDD numbers, Soulsbyville and Chinese Camp have unemployment rates hovering around 25 percent, and Jamestown and Columbia have rates over 16 percent.

Calaveras County, meanwhile, was recently named by the Associated Press as the 20th most economically stressed county in the United States.

Imperial County, with its 29.3 percent unemployment rate, was No. 1 on that list.

 


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Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:23:31 -0700