Written by Gabriel Dillard
It was a mixed bag for unemployment rates across the Central Valley as harvest activity died down in October, according to new data from the state Employment Development Department.
Fresno County’s October unemployment rate was 7.8 percent, up from 7.5 percent in September and below 9 percent a year ago.
Month over month, farm employment dropped by 9,700 jobs, marking the seasonal downturn as the almond and grape harvest ended. Nonfarm employment increased by 3,300 jobs, with the biggest gain in government with an additional 1,700 positions.
Year over year, farm employment remained static while nonfarm industries added 6,300 jobs, with the biggest gain in educational and health services with 1,800 new jobs.
The Kings County unemployment rate was 7.4 percent, unchanged from September and below 9 percent a year ago.
On the month-over basis, farms added 200 jobs while nonfarm industries lost a net 700 jobs, with the biggest decrease in manufacturing with 1,000 jobs. There was a gain of 300 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities.
Year over year, farms added 400 jobs while nonfarm industries added 600 jobs — the biggest gain was in manufacturing with 300 jobs.
In Madera County, the unemployment rate was 6.6 percent in October, unchanged from September and below 8.2 percent a year ago.
Month over month, farms shed 2,100 jobs while nonfarm sectors added 300.
Year over year, farms added 200 jobs while nonfarm industries added 1,500.
Tulare County’s October unemployment rate was 9.4 percent, down from 9.5 percent in September and below 10.5 percent a year ago.
Tulare County farms lost 4,200 jobs month-over-month, while nonfarm industries lost 100 jobs.
Year over year, farms added 100 jobs, while nonfarm sectors added 1,700 jobs, led by government and educational and health services — each adding 600 positions.
The statewide unemployment rate for October was 4.9 percent, down from 5.3 percent a year ago.