published on January 20, 2017 - 3:17 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Unemployment rates across the Central Valley saw a monthly decline in December 2016 as most farm operations ramped down for the season, according to the latest data from the state Employment Development Department.


Fresno County’s Central Valley unemployment rate in December 2016 was 9.5 percent, up from 9.3 percent in November 2016 and down from 10.2 percent last year.

Farms shed the most jobs on a month-over basis with 1,000 positions — normal during the winter season. Professional and business services as well as government sectors also lost 900 jobs each.

Year over year, government saw the largest increase with an additional 2,500 jobs, followed by gains in trade, transportation and utilities with 1,700 jobs and retail trade with 1,400 jobs in Fresno County.

Professional and business services employment fell by 1,000 jobs year over year in Fresno County.

In Kings County, the December 2016 Valley unemployment rate was 9.9 percent, up from 9.3 percent in November 2016 and below 10.7 percent last year.

Kings County farms shed 400 jobs last month, while nonfarm industries lost a net 200 positions.

Farm industries in Kings County added 700 jobs year over year, while nonfarm industries shed a net 200 jobs. Manufacturing lost the most jobs year over year with 600 positions.

Madera County’s unemployment rate last month was 9.4 percent, up from 8.9 percent in November and below 10.5 percent last year.

Farms in Madera County actually added 1,000 new jobs month over month, while nonfarm industries lost a net 300 jobs.

Year over year, farm employment was static while nonfarm industries added 1,800, led by government with 1,300 positions.

Tulare County’s unemployment rate was 11.5 percent in December, up from 10.8 percent in November and below 12.2 percent last year.

Month over month, Tulare County farms lost 2,300 jobs, while nonfarm industries lost a net 100 jobs.

Year over year, nonfarm industries added 2,400 jobs in Tulare County, while farms added 200 positions.

California’s unemployment rate stood at 5.2 percent last month, down slightly from 5.3 percent in November 2016 and 5.9 percent last year.

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