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400 more Mantecans find jobs
Manteca’s unemployment picture – as well as that of every other community in San Joaquin County – bucked the statewide trend for the second straight month in September as more people went back to work.

Four hundred previously unemployed Manteca residents found work in August to drop the city’s unemployment rate down to 13.5 percent

Fewer than fourteen out of every 100 employable adults are now out of work in Manteca. That translates into 28,600 Manteca residents employed.

Countywide there was a 15.5 percent unemployment rate in September down from 15.7 percent in August. The worst city to be living and looking for a job is Stockton with an 18.6 percent unemployment rate. The hardest hit community is the unincorporated area of French Camp in the northwest portion of the Manteca Unified School District where 47.7 percent of the able-bodied adult population is out of work.

The California Employment Development Department reported Manteca’s jobless rate at 13.5 percent for September, down from a post World War II record high 14.4 per cent in March.

There were 1,900 more people working countywide in September. The biggest gain was 900 government jobs plus 600 education and health service jobs.

The leisure and hospital sector lost 200 jobs. Four other sectors experienced a loss of 100 jobs each in San Joaquin County during September. They were construction, manufacturing, professional services, and other services.

Government adds 1,400 jobs in past two months
After three months of job losses, the government sector posted a gain of 500 jobs in August and then the 900 jobs in September while education and health services increased 100 jobs in August and then the 600 jobs in September.

There were 1,000 farm jobs added in September bringing the number employed up to 16,900. Statewide, 12.2 percent of Californians were unemployed in September as in August compared to 11.9 percent in July, 11.6 percent in June, 11.5 percent in May and 11.2 percent in April. This is the worst for unemployment in California since World War II.

The national unemployment number rose to 9.8 percent in September.

The jobless rate in the Northern San Joaquin Valley is impacted as much by the Bay Area economy as it is by the local economy. The data reflects the number of available adults who are gainfully employed or not within a certain jurisdiction within the county. Overall, the job count reflects positions available in the county although they could be held by non-county residents just like many Bay Area jobs are held by those who live in the Northern San Joaquin Valley.

It is that mixture that has cushioned the impact somewhat in Manteca, Lathrop, Ripon, and Tracy keeping the employment figures still better than the Great Depression when the San Joaquin Valley was devastated as virtually a 100-percent farming region. Diversification has helped somewhat.

State economists expect the jobless rate to remain in the double digits throughout most of 2009 before it starts improving near year’s end.