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published on June 17, 2016 - 6:21 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Central Valley farms continued to add new jobs in May as seasonal harvest activity continued to ramp up.

Fresno County’s May unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, down from 9.6 percent in April and below 9.9 percent a year ago, according to new data from the state Employment Development Department.

That’s the lowest unemployment rate for Fresno County in May since 2007.

Farms continue to demand seasonal labor, with the sector adding 9,700 jobs last month.

The leisure and hospitality sector grew by 1,000 jobs last month, with accommodation and food services accounting for 60 percent of those gains.

On a year-over-year basis in Fresno County, farm employment gained 3,200 jobs — the largest annual jump in May since 2012 — while nonfarm employment grew by 14,000 jobs.

Government reported the largest year-over increase with 3,900 jobs, while trade, transportation & utilities added 3,100 jobs, retail trade added 1,600 jobs and manufacturing gained 600 jobs.

In Kings County, the unemployment rate was 8.6 percent in May, down from 10 percent in April and below 10 percent a year ago.

Month over month, Kings County farms added 1,200 jobs while nonfarm sectors added 600 positions, led by manufacturing and leisure & hospitality with 200 jobs each.

Kings County added 200 farm jobs and 500 nonfarm jobs on a year-over-year basis in May.

Madera County’s May unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, down from 9.6 percent in April and 10.3 percent a year ago.

Farms added 1,300 jobs last month, while nonfarm sectors added 500 jobs.

On a year-over-year bases in May, Madera County farms added 100 jobs while nonfarm sectors added 2,400 jobs, led by government with 1,100 jobs.

In Tulare County, the unemployment rate was 9.5 percent in May, down from 10.8 percent in April and below 10.8 percent last year.

Tulare County farms added 3,300 new jobs last month, while nonfarm sectors added 1,700 jobs, led by trade, transportation & utilities with 600 jobs.

On the year-over basis, Tulare County farms added 100 jobs while nonfarm industries added 3,500 jobs, led by trade, transportation & utilities with 1,200 positions.

California’s unemployment rate for May was 5.2 percent, down from 5.3 percent in April and 6.4 percent in May 2015.


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