The unemployment rates in Stanislaus and Merced counties took a slight dip in November and remained below the year-ago estimate, according to the latest data from the Employment Development Department.

Stanislaus County had an unemployment rate of 6.2 percent in November. That was down from the seasonally adjusted rate of 6.9 percent posted in October and below the year-ago estimate of 8.1 percent.

Merced County had an unemployment rate of 7.6 percent in November, down from a revised rate of 8 percent for October and below the year-ago estimate of 8.9 percent.

Job growth in a few sectors, particularly those in service areas, balanced out the job losses in sectors that typically see significant drops as the year comes to a close, at least for Stanislaus County. In Merced County, only one sector posted job increases for the month, with all other sectors declining or flat.

The Farming sector in Stanislaus County recorded the largest drop in jobs, with an estimated 1,100 fewer jobs in November, according to the EDD. Merced County’s Farming sector dropped an estimated 1,800 positions for the month. The sector historically sees dramatic declines during this time of year, because the harvest season has ended and many fields go dormant.

Other sectors that recorded job losses for the month in Stanislaus County were Manufacturing, which dropped an estimated 600 jobs in November, primarily in food processing; and Mining, Logging and Construction, which reported a drop of around 300 jobs.

Manufacturing in Merced County lost approximately 1,400 jobs in November. Mining, Logging and Construction dropped by an estimated 100 positions for the month. Sectors that typically see job increases in November, like Trade, Transportation and Utilities and Leisure and Hospitality, both reported job losses for the month in Merced County. Trade, Transportation and Utilities reported a decline of about 100 positions and Leisure and Hospitality recorded a drop of about 200 jobs for the month, according to the EDD.

In Stanislaus County, the sector posting the largest jobs gains in November was Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which added an estimated 900 jobs. The sector, which includes retail, typically sees an increase in November and December as stores and distribution centers have to hire more for the holiday season.

Leisure and Hospitality reported a job gain of approximately 400 jobs for the month in Stanislaus County. Other sectors that reported job growth in Stanislaus were Professional and Business Services (300); Educational and Health Services (200); and Government (100).

The only sector in Merced County that reported job gains in November, was the Government sector, which added an estimated 400 jobs.

California had an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent, while the nation’s was at 3.9 percent for the same time period.

Newman had an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent for November. Gustine’s rate was at 7.4 percent.

The EDD released data regarding the online job vacancies and the companies looking to hire for the month of November. 

The top 10 positions with the most job ads for the month in Stanislaus County were: Registered nurses - 645, which was down by 15 from the month prior; heavy and tractor-trailer drivers - 509, which was an increase of one from the previous month; retail salespersons - 412, which was down by three from October ; first-line supervisors of retail sales workers - 281, which was a decrease of three from October; customer service representatives - 250, which was up by 15 from the month prior; sales representatives wholesale and manufacturing except scientific and technical products - 230, which dropped by three from October; laborer and freight, stock and material movers - 216, which rose by six for the month; managers - 209, which stayed the same; medical and health services managers - 178, which rose by 17 for the month; and combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food – 177, which was down by one. 

In Merced County the top 10 positions with the most job ads were:  Heavy and tractor-trailer drivers - 127, which was up by three from October; retail salespersons - 101, up by four from the month prior; registered nurses - 86, down by eight from October; first-line supervisors of retail sales workers - 81, which was down by 12 from October; customer service representatives - 67, which was up by two; ; janitors and cleaners, except maids and housekeepers — 43, which was down by seven; managers - 40, which was down by 21; combined food preparation and serving workers, including fast food – 39, which was down by seven; security guards, secretaries and administrative assistants, along with laborers and freight, stock and material movers were all at 35 for the month. 

The top 10 companies posting the most online job vacancies in Stanislaus County in November were: Anthem Blue Cross - 519, up by three; Yosemite Community College District — 312, up by 133; California State University, Stanislaus - 251, up by 114; Sutter Health - 235, up by 15; Tenet Health System - 219, up by 21; The Save Mart Companies - 139, up by one; E & J Gallo Winery — 124, up by two; Kaiser Permanente - 101, up by one; Amazon - 101, down by nine; and Doctors Medical Center of Modesto - 95, down by 18. 

The top 10 companies posting the most online job vacancies in Merced County in October were: Foster Farms - 132, which was down by eight from October; UC Merced - 91, which was up by four; Dignity Health - 87, which was down by five from the previous month; Merced County - 45, down by eight; Hilmar Cheese Company Inc. — 37, up by 23; Hilmar Cheese Company — 33, down by nine; Golden Valley Health Centers - 33, which was the same in October; Travel Centers of America - 31, up by six; Dole Packaged Foods - 28, up by two; and  Merced County Office of Education - 26, which was down by 21.