published on May 20, 2016 - 10:57 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
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The start of spring harvesting boosted employment in the Central Valley in April, according to the latest data from the California Employment Development Department.

In Fresno County, farms added 6,400 jobs last month — fueled by a seasonal bump from blueberry, strawberry and cherry harvesting — for an April unemployment rate of 9.7 percent.

That’s down from 10.6 percent in March and 10.4 percent a year ago.

It was the first time the April unemployment rate was in the single digits in Fresno County since 2008.

On a year-over basis, government reported the largest Fresno County jobs gain with 3,800 positions, followed by trade, transportation and utilities with 3,700 jobs and retail trade with 2,200 jobs.

Kings County’s unemployment rate was 10 percent last month, down from 11.3 percent in March and below 10.8 percent a year ago. Farms added 800 new jobs last month.

Trade, transportation and utilities added the most jobs on a year-over basis, with 300 new positions, following by educational and health services with 200 jobs.

Madera County’s April unemployment rate was 9.7 percent, down from 10.5 percent in March and below 10.9 percent a year ago. Madera County farms added 400 jobs last month.

On a year-over-year basis, Madera County had 300 less farm jobs, and 2,700 more nonfarm jobs, led by gains in educational and health services with 500 new jobs.

Tulare County’s unemployment rate last month was 10.8 percent, down from 12.4 percent in March and 11.4 percent a year ago.

Farms added a whopping 9,000 new Tulare County jobs last month, with nonfarm industries adding 700 positions in the same period.

Year-over-year, farms added 100 new positions, while nonfarm industries added 3,200 positions, led by trade, transportation & utilities with 1,100 jobs.

California’s unemployment rate decreased to 5.3 percent in April, down from 5.4 percent in March. The April 2015 statewide unemployment rate was 6.5 percent.


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