published on March 3, 2017 - 6:23 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff
Valley unemployment rates rose slightly to kick off 2017 as the retail sector shed seasonal positions, according to the latest data from the state Employment Development Department.


Fresno County’s January unemployment rate was 10.6 percent, up from 9.4 percent in December 2016 but just below 10.7 a year ago.

Farm employment grew by 400 jobs on a month-over-month basis, while nonfarm industries dropped 5,600 jobs. Trade, transportation & utilities recorded the largest month-over decline with a loss of 2,600 jobs following the holiday season, mostly in retail.

Year-over-year, farm employment declined by 500 jobs while non-farm employment was up 9,100 jobs. Educational and health services reported the largest year-over increase with an additional 3,300 positions, followed by trade, transportation and utilities adding 2,400 jobs.

Kings County’s January unemployment rate was 11.7 percent, up from 10.2 percent in December and unchanged from a year ago.

Farms shed 100 jobs and non-farm industries lost 1,000 jobs on a month-over-month basis. Year over year, farms lost 900 jobs while non-farm industries gained 400 jobs, led by manufacturing.

Madera County’s unemployment rate in January was 10 percent, up from 9.3 percent in December and below 10.4 percent a year ago.

Madera County farms added 500 jobs month-over-month, while non-farm industries lost 200 jobs. Year over year, farms lost 100 jobs while non-farm industries added 1,400 jobs, with the biggest gains from government (800) and mining logging & construction and trade, transportation & utilities adding 200 jobs each.

Tulare County’s unemployment rate for January was 12.4 percent, up from 11.4 percent in December and below 12.5 percent a year ago.

Tulare County farms added 900 jobs month-over-month, while nonfarm industries lost 2,400 positions, led by trade, transportation & utilities with 1,400 lost jobs. Year over year, farms added 100 jobs while nonfarm industries added 2,400 positions, led by educational & health services with 1,400 positions.

California’s overall unemployment rate for January was 5.1 percent, down slightly from 5.2 percent in December 2016.

The state’s unemployment rate in January 2016 was 5.7 percent.

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