The unemployment rate for August fell in both Stanislaus and Merced counties as industries hit hard during the pandemic continue to add back employees, according to the latest numbers from the Employment Development Department.

Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate for August came in at 8 percent, down from 8.4 percent posted the month prior and below the year-ago estimate of 11.2 percent, the EDD reported.

Merced County had an unemployment rate of 9.4 percent in August, down from 10.3 percent in July and below the year-ago estimate of 11.9 percent.

The drop in Stanislaus County was driven by job growths in the sectors of Farming, Manufacturing, Leisure and Hospitality and Educational and Health Services.

Farming posted the largest job growth for the month, with approximately 1,100 positions added for the month. It was followed by manufacturing, which added an estimated 1,000 positions in August. Both sectors typically add jobs during this time of year as harvest activity ramps up.

Leisure and Hospitality typically sees declines in employment in August as summer jobs end and more people go back to school. But this time the sector added an estimated 600 jobs for the month. The sector has been one particularly hit hard by the pandemic and job growth has been slow going.

The final sector to post job gains in August in Stanislaus County was the Health and Education Services sector, which added about 200 positions, according to EDD.

The only sector in Stanislaus County to report a loss of jobs for the month was Mining, Logging and Construction, which reported a loss of about 300 jobs, the EDD reported.

All other sectors in Stanislaus County were flat for the month.

Merced County’s decrease in unemployment was largely driven by the Government sector, which added 3,000 jobs for the month of August, according to the EDD. Most of these jobs were at school districts around the county and is typical for this time of year.

Other sectors that posted job growth in Merced County for the month were Farming (100), Mining, Logging, and Construction (100), Manufacturing (200), Trade, Transportation &

Utilities (200) and Leisure & Hospitality (300).

The only sector to post a job loss in Merced County for August was Professional and Business Services, which reported a drop of 200 positions, according to the EDD. All other sectors were flat for the month.   

California’s unemployment rate came in at 7.5 percent for the month and the nation’s was at 5.3 percent for the same time period.

Newman had an unemployment rate of 11.9 percent for August and Gustine had a rate of 9.1 percent for the month.

The EDD released data regarding the online job vacancies and the companies looking to hire for the month of August. The top 10 positions with the most job ads for the month in Stanislaus County were: Registered nurses - 677, which was up by 30 from the month prior; retail salespersons - 372, which was up by five from July; heavy and tractor-trailer drivers - 304, which was an increase of six from the previous month; first-line supervisors of retail sales workers - 284, which was an increase of 17 from July; sales representatives wholesale and manufacturing except scientific and technical products - 268, which dropped by 40 from July; customer service representatives - 260, which was down by 23 from the month prior; laborer and freight, stock and material movers - 235, which dropped 28 for the month;  maintenance and repair workers - 209, which was a decrease of one from July; managers - 202, which dropped by 16 for the month; and combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food – 157, which was flat for the month.

The top nine positions with the most job ads for August in Merced County were: Registered nurses - 150, down by eight from July; first-line supervisors of retail sales workers - 79, which was up by two from July; retail salespersons - 78, down by 10 from the month prior; managers - 73, which was up by 17; heavy and tractor-trailer drivers - 66, which was down by three from July; customer service representatives - 60, which was up by two; teacher assistants - 52, which was down by one from July;  sales representatives wholesale and manufacturing except scientific and technical products - 51, which decreased by eight from the previous month; and laborer and freight, stock and material movers - 47, which was up by two.

The top 10 companies posting the most online job vacancies in Stanislaus County in August were: Anthem Blue Cross - 418, up by 23; Tenet Health System - 250, up by 65; Sutter Health - 214, up by 40; Modesto City Schools - 191, up by 12; California State University, Stanislaus - 124, up by 34;  Soliant – 112, which was up by 22; Save Mart Companies – 106, which was down by 12 from July; Emanuel Medical Center - 92, which was up by 17 from the month prior; Hospitals of Providence – 87, down by 50; and Ceres Unified School District - 85, down by five.  

The top 10 companies posting the most online job vacancies in Merced County in August were: Dignity Health - 143, which was down by 15 from the previous month; Foster Farms - 138, which was up by 30 from July; Los Banos Unified - 81, which was up by 10 from the month prior; Merced County Office of Education - 78, which was up by two; UC Merced - 59, which was up by 11; Atwater Elementary School District - 57, down by one; Merced County - 56, up by 3; Dos Palos Oro Loma Joint Unified - 50, which was up by nine; PMZ Real Estate - 37, which was up by three; and Merce City Elementary - 37, up by nine.