News Release Information

Tuesday, October 20, 2015


Technical information:
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Unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley by County - August 2015

All Counties Posted Lower Unemployment Rates Than The Previous Two Years

In August, San Joaquin County had the lowest unemployment rate in the San Joaquin Valley, Calif., at 8.3 percent, followed by Stanislaus County, at 8.5 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Richard J. Holden, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Tulare County had the highest jobless rate in the area, 11.0 percent. All eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley had unemployment rates that were above the U.S. rate of 5.2 percent. (See chart 1. The Technical Note at the end of this release contains the San Joaquin Valley definition. All data in this release are not seasonally adjusted; accordingly, over-the-year analysis is used throughout.)

 Chart 1. Unemployment rates for the United States and counties in the San Joaquin Valley, Calif. August 2015, not seasonally adjusted

 In July, all eight counties had over-the-year unemployment rate declines, with the rate of decline ranging from 1.8 percentage points in Merced County and San Joaquin County to 1.2 points in Kern County. Each county reported an unemployment rate decline that was equal to or larger than the national decrease of 1.2 percentage points. (See table A.)

Table A. Unemployment rates for the United States and counties in the San Joaquin Valley, Calif., August 2015, not seasonally adjusted
Area Unemployment rate Change from
August 2013 August 2014 August 2015 August 2013 to August 2015(1) August 2014 to August 2015(1)

United States

7.3 6.3 5.2 -2.1 -1.1
Fresno County 12.0 10.4 8.9 -3.1 -1.5

Kern County

10.9 9.6 9.3 -1.6 -0.3

Kings County

12.2 10.5 9.1 -3.1 -1.4

Madera County

11.2 9.9 8.8 -2.4 -1.1

Merced County

12.9 11.3 9.7 -3.2 -1.6

San Joaquin County

11.8 10.0 8.3 -3.5 -1.7

Stanislaus County

11.9 10.2 8.5 -3.4 -1.7

Tulare County

13.6 12.4 11.0 -2.6 -1.4

(1) Data for the San Joaquin Valley, Calif. and its components are preliminary for the most recent month.

Unemployment rates fell in all eight San Joaquin area counties from August 2013 to August 2015. The largest two-year decrease occurred in San Joaquin County, down 3.5 percentage points, followed by Stanislaus County, down 3.4 points. Seven of the eight counties had unemployment rate decreases that were larger than the national decrease of 2.1 percentage points. Kern County had the smallest unemployment rate decline, 1.6 percentage points, from August 2013 to August 201. Tulare County had the highest jobless rates in the area in August for each of the past three years.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for September is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, October 28, 2014, at 10:00 a.m. (EDT).

Technical Note

This release presents unemployment rate data for states and counties from the Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS) program, a federal-state cooperative endeavor.

Definitions. The labor force and unemployment data are based on the same concepts and definitions as those used for the official national estimates obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), a sample survey of households that is conducted for the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) by the U.S. Census Bureau. The LAUS program measures employment and unemployment on a place-of-residence basis.  The universe for each is the civilian noninstitutional population 16 years of age and over.  Employed persons are those who did any work at all for pay or profit in the reference week (the week including the 12th of the month) or worked 15 hours or more without pay in a family business or farm, plus those not working who had a job from which they were temporarily absent, whether or not paid, for such reasons as labor-management dispute, illness, or vacation. Unemployed persons are those who were not employed during the reference week (based on the definition above), had actively looked for a job sometime in the 4-week period ending with the reference week, and were currently available for work; persons on layoff expecting recall need not be looking for work to be counted as unemployed.  The labor force is the sum of employed and unemployed persons. The unemployment rate is the number of unemployed as a percent of the labor force.

Methods of estimation. The LAUS program is a hierarchy of non-survey methodologies for indirectly estimating employment and unemployment in states and local areas. Statewide data are produced through a modeling technique that uses estimates of payroll jobs from the Current Employment Statistics survey and unemployment insurance claims counts from the state workforce agencies to mitigate volatility in the direct CPS tabulations of employment and unemployment, respectively. Data for labor market areas, such as metropolitan areas and metropolitan divisions, are produced through a building block approach and adjusted proportionally to state model-based totals. Data for counties within labor market areas are produced through a disaggregation technique. A detailed description of the LAUS estimation procedures is available in chapter 4 of the BLS Handbook of Methods at

Annual revisions. Labor force and unemployment data for prior years reflect adjustments made at the end of each year, usually implemented with January estimates. The adjusted estimates reflect updated population data from the U.S. Census Bureau, any revisions in the other data sources, and model reestimation. All substate estimates are reestimated and adjusted to add to the revised model-based estimates.

Area definition. The substate area data published in this release reflect the standards and definitions established by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, dated February 28, 2013. A detailed list of the geographic definitions is available at


The San Joaquin Valley, Calif., includes Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, and Tulare Counties in California.


Information in this release will be made available to sensory impaired individuals upon request. Voice phone:  (202) 691-5200; Federal Relay Service: 1-800-877-8339.


Last Modified Date: Tuesday, October 20, 2015