published on January 21, 2022 - 1:02 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Central Valley counties mostly saw their unemployment rates return to single digits in 2021 from highs experienced at the start of the pandemic.

Data also showed that the local civilian labor force grew last year compared to 2020.

The California Employment Development Department on Friday released unemployment rates for December to close out 2021. While the December data is subject to seasonal adjustment at a later date, it offers the first glimpse at the topsy-turvy year that upended national labor markets.

Fresno County’s preliminary unemployment rate for 2021 was 8.7%, compared to 11.3% in 2020, 7.4% in 2019 and 7.6% in 2018.

Despite the narrative of the “Great Resignation,” Fresno County reported a preliminary civilian labor force of 447,800 for December, up 0.6% compared to December 2020.

The Fresno County industry segments seeing the largest declines in labor force for 2021 are Nursing & Residential Care Facilities with 13.6%, Federal Government with 12% and Management of Companies & Enterprises with 7.7%.

The largest growth in labor force was seen in Leisure & Hospitality with 19%, Waste Management & Remediation Services with 15.4% and Other Services with 14.3%.

Kings County’s preliminary unemployment rate for 2021 is 9.2%, compared to 11.6% in 2020, 8% for 2019 and 7.9% for 2018.

Kings County’s civilian labor force also grew by 1.4% last month compared to a year ago. The largest decline was in the government category of Special Districts plus Indian Tribes with 12.5%. The largest increase was in Leisure & Hospitality with 32.4%.

Madera County’s preliminary unemployment rate for 2021 was 8.4%, compared to 10.8% in 2020, 7% in 2019 and 7.1% in 2018.

Madera’s civilian labor force grew by 0.2% last year. The Information sector saw the largest decline in workers with 33.3%. The largest increase was in Leisure & Hospitality with 16.1% growth.

Tulare County’s preliminary unemployment rate for 2021 was 10.3%, compared to 13.2% in 2020, 9.9% in 2019 and 9.8% in 2018.

Tulare County’s civilian labor force grew by 3% in 2021. The industry segment with the largest decline in workforce last year was Educational & Health Services with 5%. The largest increases came to Arts, Entertainment & Recreation and Accommodation, each growing by 133%.

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