Written by Frank Lopez
Fresno County saw a new record low for unemployment in the month of May, according to the latest data from the California Employment Development Department.
The unemployment rate fell to 6.4 % in May, a drop from 7.7% in April and below the year-ago estimate of 6.8 %. That was the lowest rate for that month since records were compiled starting in 1990.
The last time the unemployment rate for Fresno County reached 6.4% was in October 2018.
Between the months of April and May, total industry employment increased by 1.6%, or by 6,500 jobs, bringing the total to 414,900.
The month-over gain was concentrated in farm employment, with an increase of 13.1%, or 5,700 jobs.
Nonfarm employment rose by 800 jobs, an increase of 0.2%.
The increase in farm employment was an expected seasonal bump, with harvests starting for a number of crops, including blueberries, while the asparagus harvest ended.
Year over year, total industry employment for Fresno County increased by 12,000 jobs.
Leisure and hospitality grew by 900 jobs, and construction, trade, transportation and utilities and financial activities industries climbed by 200 jobs each. Manufacturing of non-durable goods saw a gain of 100 jobs.
In Kings County, the unemployment rate dropped from April’s 8.4% to 6.7% in May, and also dropped below the year-ago estimate of 6.8%.
Total employment across all industries in May 2018 was 49,000, jumping last month to 50,200, a 900-job increase.
Farm jobs in May saw a 700-job increase from April, going up from 7,900 to 8,600, and nonfarm jobs went from 40,900 in April, to 41,600 in May, an increase of 700.
Manufacturing employment in Kings County went from 4,600 in April to 5,100 in May, a 500-job increase. In May 2018, manufacturing jobs totaled 4,900, experiencing a 200-job increase to May of this year.
The unemployment rate in Madera County was 6.3% in May, down from 7.6% in April, also below the year-ago estimate of 6.5%.
For all industries, the total job number for May was 51,400, up from 49,500 in April, a 1,900-job increase.
Total farm employment in May was 12,100, a change from April’s 10,600 with a 1,500 increase. Last year, the total number of farm jobs in May was 13,000, showing a 900-job drop when compared to May of this year.
Since April, leisure and hospitality saw an increase for the month of May, going from 3,600 jobs to 3,900 jobs, a 300-job increase.
For the county of Tulare, the unemployment went down from April’s 9.9% to 8.1% in May.
The total number of jobs across all industries in May was 175,500, a 3,600-job jump since April’s 171,900 count. In May of last year, the total count was 173,100, a 2,400 change when compared to last month.
Total farm jobs in May hit 46,400, up by 3,000 since April and up by 300 since last month.
Total nonfarm jobs for May reached 129,100, an increase of 600 when compared to April, where it topped at 128,500. Last May, the number of nonfarm jobs was at 127,000, increasing by 2,100 for May of this year.
The unemployment rate for the state hit 3.5 % last month, and was 3.4% for the nation during the same period.