Jobless numbers ticking up

By Lenore Rutherford, The Union Democrat March 25, 2013 10:02 am

Unemployment in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties rose in January, remaining higher than statewide averages but lower than a year ago at the same time, labor statistics released Friday showed.

Tuolumne County’s unemployment rate was 12 percent in January, up from 11.2 percent in December, but down from 13.2 percent in January 2012, the California Employment Development Department reported.

In Calaveras County, the January unemployment rate was 13.2 percent, up from 12 percent in December, but down from 14.4 percent in January 2012.

The lower unemployment rates in both counties over the past year may reflect a shrinking workforce as much as an increase in jobs.

Tuolumne County’s total civilian labor force (those available to work) remains 240 workers shy of the 25,640 reported for January 2012 despite growing 2 percent in January to 25,430 workers. The EDD said Tuolumne County had a government workforce of 5,070 in January, down 20 from 5,090 in January 2012.

In Calaveras County, the total civilian labor force was 18,960 in January, down 280 workers from the 19,240 reported a year ago at the same time. The government workforce of 2,390, was up 80 from the 2,310 reported in January 2012.

California’s unemployment rate was unchanged between December and January at 9.8 percent, down from 11 percent in January 2012.

In related data, the EDD reported that there were 519,632 people receiving regular unemployment insurance benefits during a week in January during which a survey was made.

This compares with 496,500 in December and 575,895 in January 2012. At the same time, new claims for unemployment insurance were 68,907 in January compared with 51,545 in December and 59,344 in January 2012.