Employees work at Fresno’s Pana-Pacific, which distributes the CCF-T center console refrigerator for Ford F-series truck out of Fresno. Photo by Frank Lopez

published on November 19, 2021 - 2:15 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Preliminary unemployment numbers in the Central Valley inched downward — for the most part — in October, with marked year-over-year improvement and significant gains in the leisure and hospitality industry.

In Fresno County, October’s unemployment rate dropped to 7.6% down from 7.7% in September and down from 9.7% October 2020. California’s unemployment rate was 6.1% and the nationwide, unemployment was 4.3%. The Employment Development Department reported a total labor force of 443,400 in Fresno County for October.

Governmental employment lead the job growth numbers, adding 1,500 jobs, the largest month-over-month gains for the sector. Local governments added 1,400 jobs and the state added 400 jobs, offsetting declines in federal jobs of 300 positions.

Trade, transportation and utilities moved up by 1,100 jobs and retail jobs grew by 600 ahead of the holiday season. September-to-October job growth for retail in 2019 was 800 jobs.

Aggregate across all non-governmental industries, jobs decreased by 1,200 or .3% when including seasonal farm employment. Without losses in farming, jobs rose by 4,400 or 1.2%.

Manufacturing jobs dropped by 600, made up entirely by producers of nondurable goods.

Farm employment recorded the largest month-over-month decline with a drop of 5,600 jobs.

Jobs in education and health services rose by 1,200.

Year-over-year, the leisure and hospitality industry grew by its largest amount with 4,300 jobs added, bringing the total to 32,600. The Employment Development Department reported 35,900 jobs in the sector in October 2019.

Construction grew jobs grew year-over-year by 1,900 jobs with specialty trade contractors making up 74% of those numbers.

In Tulare County, unemployment dropped to 9.2% in October from 9.3% in September and 11.1% a year ago.

Losses of 1,500 jobs in the seasonal farm labor pool lead to the net industry-wide loss of 1,500 jobs while nonfarm employment grew by 1,500 jobs.

Jobs in the trade, transportation and utilities sector lead that climb with 1,100 jobs added, with retail adding 500 jobs month-over-month.

Employment in Kings County remained flat month-over-month at 7.9%.

Unemployment in October 2020 was 9.8%. Most sectors of employment experienced either modest gains or remained stagnant, though manufacturing jobs dropped by 300 month-over-month.

Madera County experienced the only loss in employment, climbing to 7.3% in October from 7.2% in September, due mainly to losses in the farm industry. Farm labor decreased month-over-month by 1,300 jobs, bringing total jobs lost to 1,000. Retail jobs lead the increase with 400 jobs added.

Wholesale trade jobs grew by 200.

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