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News Release Information

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

Contacts Technical information: Media contact:
  • (415) 625-2270

Unemployment in the San Joaquin Valley by County - July 2014

All Counties Posted Lower Unemployment Rates Than The Previous Two Years

In July, Madera County had the lowest unemployment rate in the San Joaquin Valley, 10.0 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Richard J. Holden, the Bureau’s regional commissioner, noted that Merced County had the highest jobless rate in the area, 12.7 percent. All eight counties in the San Joaquin Valley had unemployment rates that were above the national average of 6.5 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.)

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, California, and counties in the San Joaquin Valley, not seasonally adjusted
AreaUnemployment rateChange from
July 2012July 2013July 2014July 2012 to July 2014(1)July 2013 to July 2014(1)

United States




Fresno County


Kern County


Kings County


Madera County


Merced County


San Joaquin County


Stanislaus County


Tulare County


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

Unemployment rates in the eight San Joaquin area counties were lower in July 2014 than July 2012. The largest declines occurred in San Joaquin County, down 4.4 percentage points, followed by Merced County and Stanislaus County (-4.3 points each). The area’s eight counties reported two-year jobless rate declines larger than the nationwide decrease of 2.1 percentage points. Merced County has had the area’s highest jobless rate in July for each of the past three years.

The Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment news release for August is scheduled to be released on Wednesday, October 1, 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 San Joaquin Valley 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, September 09, 2014