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23,600 Manteca residents working but 200 more now looking for jobs
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Two hundred Manteca residents were looking for jobs in January as unemployment climbed to 14.5 percent.

That may not be as bad as it sounds. The state Economic Development Department jobs numbers released Friday shows 23,600 Manteca residents with jobs, the same as in November and December. That means the increase in the jobless rate reflects more people looking for jobs in January.

While it doesn’t feel like  a recovery for 4,000 people in Manteca, 800 people in Lathrop and 700 people in Ripon that are out of work, traditionally an upswing in Bay Area employment as is now happening is felt within six months in many areas of  the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

The jobless rate climbed as San Joaquin County bucked a statewide trend that saw 35,400 jobs created to drop the jobless rate to 10.9 percent in January to its lowest level since April 2009. There have now been 332,400 non-farm jobs added in California since the official start of the recovery in September.

The rise in Manteca from 13.9 percent in December to 14.5 percent in January in the Manteca jobless rate broke a string of 14 months of unemployment being below 14 percent. The jobless rate in November 2011 was at 15.8 percent for the highest level since World War II. It’s been 53 consecutive months since the unemployment rate in Manteca was below 10 percent. From 1996 to 2006, Manteca’s jobless rate hovered between 6.5 and 7.5 percent.

Unemployment had reached a 2½ year low in August when the jobless rate dropped to 13.4 percent.

The unemployment rate in San Joaquin County jumped up to 16.6 percent from 15.9 percent.

The 16.6 percent unemployment rate for San Joaquin County means 49,800 people out of 299,600 folks in the labor force countywide are unemployed.  The jobless numbers are the equivalent of the combined population of Ripon, Lathrop, and Escalon.

The only sector to grow in January was farm jobs as 900 were added.

The biggest loser was trade, transportation, and utilities that shed 900 jobs followed by government and health services at 400 jobs lost apiece. Construction jobs fell 300 in January throughout San Joaquin County.

The jobless rate in January for Ripon was 11.7 percent up from 11.2, in Lathrop it was at 13.5 percent up from 12.9 percent, in Escalon it was at 15.3 percent up from 14.7 percent, in Tracy it was at 10.5 percent up from 10.0 percent, in Stockton it was 19.9 percent up from 19.2 percent, and in Lodi it was at 12.7 percent up from 12.1 percent.