published on March 4, 2016 - 7:20 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Central Valley unemployment rates continued to show year-over-year improvement in January, with government accounting for a jobs boost to kick off 2016.

Fresno County’s January unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, up from 10.2 percent in December and below 12.1 percent last year, according to new data from the state Employment Development Department. Fresno County saw its lowest January unemployment rate since 2007.

Month-over-month, farms shed 2,100 jobs while nonfarm employment fell by 6,800 jobs, led by the trade, transportation and utilities industries, which lost 2,800 jobs. With the conclusion of the holiday shopping season, retail trade specifically accounted for 93 percent of losses int he sector.

On a year-over basis, farm employment fell by 300 jobs, while nonfarm employment added 10,000 jobs — mostly in the government sector with a 3,500-job boost. Local government added 2,900 jobs, with the state and federal government accounting for an additional 300 jobs each.

Other industries seeing notable year-over-year jumps include manufacturing (1,100), trade, transportation and utilities (3,200) and educational and health services (2,900).

Kings County saw an 11.4 percent unemployment rate in January, up from 10.7 percent in December 2015 but below 12.8 percent a year ago.

Farm industries lost 100 jobs month-over-month, while the nonfarm sector shed 700 positions, led by trade, transportation and utilities with 300 jobs lost.

On the year-over basis, farm employment was unchanged while nonfarm industries added a net 900 jobs, led by educational and health services with 300 positions, followed by government with 200 jobs.

Madera County’s January unemployment rate was 10.2 percent, down from 10.5 percent in December 2015 and lower than 12.3 percent a year ago.

Government led the month-over-month employment growth with 1,100 jobs, and farms gained 1,000 jobs in the period.

Year-over-year in Madera County, farm industries shed 100 jobs while the nonfarm sector gained 2,400 jobs, led by government with 1,300 jobs.

Tulare County’s unemployment rate in January was 12.3 percent, up from 12.2 percent in December 2015, and below 13.7 percent a year ago.

Farms in Tulare County added 3,000 positions month-over-month, while nonfarm sectors shed 1,400 jobs, led by trade, transportation and utilities with 1,100 jobs.

Year-over-year, Tulare County nonfarm employers added 3,900 jobs, led by trade, transportation and utilities with 1,500 positions, followed by government with 1,100 jobs. Farms shed 100 jobs in the period.

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