published on December 17, 2021 - 11:46 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Central Valley counties continued to experience falling unemployment rates as 2021 winds to a close, according to the latest data from the state Employment Development Department.

Local counties saw a ramp up in retail hiring in November while farms shed payrolls for the winter lull. They also saw leisure and hospitality hiring come back in a big way compared to last year.

Fresno County saw an unemployment rate of 7%, down from 7.7% in October and below 8.5% a year ago.

From October to November, nonfarm jobs rose by 4,200 (1.2%) and farm employment dropped by 2,200 jobs (down 5.6%). Retail saw the largest growth with 1,500 jobs and transportation, warehousing and utilities expanded by 900 jobs. Farm employment fell by 2,200 according to the seasonal pattern.

On an annual basis, leisure and hospitality record the largest increase of 3,800 jobs. Construction added 1,600, with specialty trade contractors accounting for 56% of the gains. Trade, transportation and utilities climbed by 1,400 jobs — 600 in retail and 500 in transportation, warehousing and utilities.

Kings County had a November unemployment rate of 7.3%, down from 7.8% in October and below 8.8%.

Farms saw 400 less jobs on a monthly basis, while nonfarm industries had a net gain of 100 jobs. A loss of 300 manufacturing jobs in November was offset by gains in trade, transportation and utilities; government and mining, logging and construction.

On an annual basis, farms gained 100 jobs while nonfarm industries added 2,100 positions, led by leisure and hospitality with 1,100 jobs.

Tulare County had an unemployment rate of 8.2% in November, down from 9.2% in October and below 9.6% a year ago. On the monthly basis, farms lost 600 jobs while nonfarm industries added 1,800 — led by government with 1,100 jobs and trade, transportation and utilities with 800 jobs.

Year over year, Tulare County farms added 4,000 positions while nonfarm industries expanded by 5,200, led by trade, transportation and utilities with 3,000 positions and government with 1,300 jobs.

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