Stanislas’ unemployment drops in November as the holidays approach


Sure, retailers have hired for the holidays, but with the boom in online shopping during the pandemic, businesses are hiring more warehouse workers than store associates this season.


Stanislaus County’s unemployment rate fell in November, continuing a slow trend of economic recovery through the winter months.

The county’s unemployment rate was 6.2% in November, up from 6.9% in October, according to data from the state’s Employment Development Department. Local data is not seasonally adjusted. Statewide, unemployment fell to 6.9% from 7.3% in October. The national unemployment rate in November was 4.2%, up from 4.6% in October, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

In November 2020, Stanislas reported 8.1% unemployment, against 8.7% in California and 6.7% nationally.

Jeff Michael, director of public policy programs at Pacific McGeorge School of Law, said the biggest change he noticed in November was local growth in sectors such as professional and business services. Much of the pandemic recovery has focused on industries that were initially hit hardest, such as recreation and hospitality, and tourism, he said. Now, Michael said, economists are seeing growth in other industries as the economy recovers.

“It’s not just about recovering hospitality anymore. We’ve seen some of these other areas grow faster, which shows that these traditional growth engines are back, ”he said. “These growth drivers are not as important in Modesto as in other areas. This is one of the reasons why the pace of the recovery in Modesto is not as fast as we have seen in other regions.

As the holidays approach, Michael said the local economy can expect to receive a seasonal boost from shopping. But unlike in the pre-pandemic years, this job growth is not as focused on retail positions as it is on e-commerce.

With the rise of online shopping during the pandemic, businesses have hired more warehouse workers than store associates this season.

“I don’t think people are spending less, they’re just looking to e-commerce,” Michael said.

Economists have predicted a more permanent economic recovery in 2022, and Michael still sees this as doable, but expects a lull in the first few months of the year as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 spreads across the country. country.

As 2022 approaches, Michael said many industries are still figuring out what the permanent effects of the pandemic will be, either economically or in how they have had to adapt their operations. Employers decide to implement hybrid work models, retailers adapt to new consumer trends.

Overall, he said, the full effects of the pandemic won’t be felt for months, if not years.

Still, Michael said there was reason to be optimistic.

“We’ve come a long way,” he said, “but we’re not quite back yet.”

This story was produced with the financial support of the Stanislas Community Foundation, with the GroundTruth Project‘s Report for America Initiative. The Modesto Bee retains full editorial control over this work.

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Kristina Karisch is the business development reporter for The Modesto Bee. It covers economic recovery and development in Stanislaus County and the North San Joaquin Valley. Her position is funded through financial support from the Stanislaus Community Foundation, as well as the Report for America initiative of the GroundTruth Project. The Modesto Bee retains full editorial control over its work.

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