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Jobless rate drops below 12% first time since mid-2008

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POSTED October 20, 2012 1:27 a.m.

Manteca’s unemployment rate has finally slipped below 12 percent.

Some 264 Manteca residents found work in September to push the unemployment rate down to 11.7 percent from 12.5 percent in August. It is the first time since August 2008 that Manteca’s jobless level has been below 12 percent. It’s been 59 months since the unemployment rates was below 10 percent. From 1990 to 2005, Manteca’s jobless rate hovered between 6.5 and 7.5 percent.

Manteca’s highest jobless benchmark was 15.8 percent in 2010 for the highest level since the Great Depression.

The state Economic Development Department jobs numbers released Friday now means more than a net gain of 400 Manteca residents held jobs in August and September.

The labor force report issued by the state reflects 24,600 Manteca residents with jobs and 3,300 who are unemployed.

San Joaquin County’s overall jobless rate is 13.4 percent. That reflects 260,900 people working and 40,500 people – the combined population of Ripon, Lathrop, and Escalon – looking for jobs.

While the county labor market has improved, Manteca and much of the county is benefitting from employment opportunities picking up in the Silicon Valley as well as Pleasanton-Livermore.

The California jobless rate dropped down to 10.6 percent in September from 10.2 percent in August. That reflects 85,000 more people going to work swelling the number of jobs statewide to 16.9 million. But the rosy numbers may be due in part to people giving up on active job searches. The total labor force shrunk by about 7,000 people over the past month and fell by 74,000 people from last year.

Nationally, the jobless rate remained at 7.8 percent.

The jobless rate in September for Ripon was 9.4 percent, in Lathrop it was at 10.8 percent, in Escalon it was at 12.3 percent, in Tracy it was at 8.4 percent, in Stockton it was 16.3 percent, and in Lodi it was at 10.2 percent.

Fueling the job growth in San Joaquin County in September were education and healthservices with a gain of 900 jobs and government with 800 more jobs. Overall, there was a net of 1,800 jobs added once sectors that lost positions were taken into account.

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