Jobless rates down slightly

archive_import /

By ERIN MAYES

Unemployment numbers in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties went down in February, reflecting a seasonal trend in which more people get jobs as the weather heats up and tourists return.

The most recent report from the state Employment Development Department puts last month's jobless rate at 7.7 percent for Tuolumne County and 9.2 percent for Calaveras County, down from January's rates of 8.4 percent and 9.3 percent, respectively.

But, Tuolumne and Calaveras counties had unemployment rates of 7.5 percent and 7.4 percent in February, 2002, representing a slight rise in the number of out-of-work people over the last year.

"We've seen a pretty significant increase in the number of people who are coming in for services," said Candace Katosic, work force investment board director for Mother Lode Job Training. "The unemployment rate has definitely increased since last year."

There have been questions about whether the war in Iraq will have a trickle-down effect on the local tourism, but it may be too early to tell.

"Tourism is being hurt, but people, I think, are staying away from more urban centers," said Deb Schweizer, a park ranger at Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite's statistics show tourism in 2003 is up significantly. About 16,000 more people visited the park in January than during the same time last year. For February, the visitor rate was up by 6,000.

Visits hit rock bottom immediately following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, in part because Yosemite was named as a potential target. But tourism rebounded quickly and numbers are now on a par with what they were two years ago. This may be in part because 53 percent of park visitors are from California, Schweizer said, so there is little reason to worry about tourism dwindling this summer.

"If you'd asked me a couple of months ago, I would have said, 'International travel numbers are down,' but they're coming back," she said.

Katosic agreed, saying she believes tourism in California may actually increase, with Bay Area residents taking a "hop, skip and a jump up to the Mother Lode," rather than flying out-of-state.

Tuolumne County's unemployment rate is 27th lowest of the 58 counties in California. The state's rate clocks in at 6.9 percent, only slightly lower than the county's ranking.

Job areas with the largest gains in workers in Tuolumne County last month were the farm industry with 12 percent; residual-textile mills with 20 percent; leisure and hospitality with 10.5 percent; and almost 30 percent in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector.

The greatest losses in Tuolumne County jobs were in the information industry with a 9.1 percent loss and food, beverage and tobacco with a 6.3 percent loss.

Calaveras County's greatest employment gains for February were in the farm industry with a jump of 25 percent, the wholesale trade industry with a gain of 8.3 percent and arts, entertainment and recreation at 5 percent.

The county's largest losses in workers were in nondurable goods, down 6.9 percent, food, beverage and tobacco, down 8.3 percent and manufacturing, down 4.8 percent.

Contact Erin Mayes at emayes@uniondemocrat.com .

11501576
The Union Democrat
This image is copyrighted.

Reach all of Sonora, Calaveras County, Tuolumne, Angels Camp, Twain Harte, & Jamestown with your items to sell.

Ads appear Online and in Print

View Classifieds Place an Ad

Connect with The Union Democrat

Union Democrat Newsstand

Saturday May 28, 2016

Read digital interactive editions of our publications

Read Today's Edition Take A Tour

More Publications by The Union Democrat

View All Publications
Sheriff’s deputies respond to alarm at Sonora KFC

05/26/2016

Tuolumne County sheriff’s deputies responded with guns drawn to a holdup alarm ... more

Avalon Care Center fined for patient death

05/24/2016

Avalon Care Center in Sonora has been fined $80,000 by the California ... more

UPDATE: Probe begins in Don Pedro fire

05/25/2016

Investigators began sifting through the rubble of the Don Pedro Recreation Agency ... more

Homelessness, high school and the Butte Fire

05/20/2016

Cole Baisch arrived at Calaveras High School around lunchtime as the sky ... more

Deputies visit schools, build community ties

05/24/2016

You would think Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Deputy Nate Yorston was Santa Claus ... more