The unemployment rate in Stanislaus County is continuing to rebound with more businesses re-opening and expanding operations.

The Employment Development Department reported the county had an unemployment rate of 8.8 percent in March, down from a revised rate of 9.1 percent in February. The rate moved closer to the year-ago estimate of 7.6 percent and is comparable to the state rate of 8.2 percent. The national unemployment rate was at 6.2 percent for the same time period.

The decrease in unemployment in Stanislaus was largely spurred by growth in the government, manufacturing and farming sectors, according to the EDD.

The Government sector added an estimated 600 jobs for the month of March, with most of those coming from local education districts as schools reopened.

The Manufacturing and Farming sectors both added approximately 400 positions for the month. Most of the manufacturing growth came within food manufacturing, according to the EDD. For the year, manufacturing in the county is ahead by about 400 positions, while farming is down by approximately 200 positions.

Other sectors posting job gains for the month were: Educational and Health Services with 200 jobs; Professional and Business Services with 300 jobs; and Other Services with 100 new jobs.

Other sectors were either flat or reported job losses for the month. The two sectors reporting job losses were Trade, Transportation and Utilities, which was down by approximately 400 jobs for the month and 800 from the same time last year; and Hospitality and Leisure, which dropped 500 positions for the month and is down by an estimated 3,700 for the year, according to the EDD.

Stanislaus County had approximately 217,200 people employed and 21,000 unemployed during March, the EDD reported.

Merced County had an unemployment rate of 11.4 percent in March and San Joaquin County came in at 9.2 percent for the month.

For March, Turlock had an unemployment rate of 6.7 percent, down from 7 percent in February. Denair’s came in at 8.3 percent, down from 8.5 percent. Hughson had a rate of 4.8 percent, down from 4.9 percent. Keyes reported a rate of 10.8 percent, down from 11 percent and Ceres had a rate of 9.9 percent, down from 10.1 percent.

The EDD released data regarding the online job vacancies and the companies looking to hire for the month of March. The top 10 positions with the most job ads for the month in Stanislaus County were: Registered nurses – 531, which was up by 42 from the month prior; retail salespersons – 320, which was up by 62 from February; sales representatives wholesale and manufacturing except scientific and technical products – 276, which rose by 64 from February; heavy and tractor-trailer drivers – 245, which was an increase of 57 from the previous month; customer service representatives – 228, which was up by 39 from the month prior; laborer and freight, stock and material movers – 218, which decreased by 2 for the month; first-line supervisors of retail sales workers – 184, which was an increase of 12 from February; maintenance and repair workers – 175, which was an increase of 33 from February; managers – 159, which increased by 24 for the month; and medical and health services managers – 147, which added 21 for the month.

The top 10 companies posting the most online job vacancies in Stanislaus county in March were: Anthem Blue Cross – 363, down by 73; Ceres Unified School District – 175, up by 72; Modesto City Schools – 168, up by 29; Sutter Health – 126, up by 14; Turlock Unified School District – 110, which was up by 59 from February; Tenet Health System – 104, down by 37; Doctors Medical Center – 93, up by 24; E&J Gallo Winery – 84, up by seven; Emanuel Medical Center – 82, down by 6; and Stanislaus County – 70, up by 17.