The unemployment rates in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties continued to decline in June after soaring to historic highs in April due to job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, but they were still far exceeding those recorded for the same month in 2019.

Tuolumne County’s preliminary unemployment rate for June was 14.4 percent, down from 16.6 percent in May and 17.3 percent in April, but more than three times larger than one year earlier when it was 4.4 percent.

In Calaveras County, the preliminary unemployment rate for June was 11 percent. That was down from the revised rate of 12.1 percent in May and 13.3 percent in April, but nearly three times higher than the 3.8 percent rate in June last year.

Both counties experienced the biggest job gains in the leisure and hospitality industry, which benefited from California lifting restrictions in the middle of the month on short-term lodging for the purposes of tourism.

Every industry sector in Calaveras County posted gains during the month except for the farm jobs, which declined from 330 in May to 300 in June.

Most of the job losses for Tuolumne County were in local government, which dropped by 3.4 percent from 3,880 in May to 3,750 in June, a portion of which could be attributed to layoffs that month due to budget cuts caused by the pandemic.

California’s preliminary statewide rate for last month was 14.9 percent, still higher than the 12.3 percent rate at the height of the previous economic recession in 2010.

The state posted a record for job gains in a single month with 558,200 added in June, breaking the previous record of 134,200 added set in May following record high losses in the months preceding that.

Most of the statewide gains in June and May were for industries most affected by lockdowns meant to slow the spread of the virus, such as the service, restaurant, and hospitality industries, according to the California Employment Development Department, which released the June unemployment report on Friday.

Whether the downward trend in unemployment continues into July remains to be seen after Gov. Gavin Newsom reinstated lockdowns earlier this week on certain types of businesses throughout the state, including indoor operations of bars and restaurants, due to rising COVID-19 case numbers, hospitalizations and deaths.


Contact Alex MacLean at amaclean@uniondemocrat.net and (209) 768-5175. 

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