Fresno County’s year over year unemployment rate remained unchanged in September compared to the same month in 2015, data released Friday show.
September’s jobless rate was 8.3 percent, a slight improvement from August, which posted 8.7 percent.
The September result put the brakes on a 60-month streak of consecutive year-over-year declines in unemployment. Still, last month’s unemployment rate and that of the same month in 2015 were the lowest for a September since 2007, said Steven Gutierrez, a labor market consultant for the Fresno office of the state Employment Development Department.
September 2016 also marked the sixth consecutive month the unemployment rate was in single digits.
Several industries in Fresno County reported year-over-year increases. The largest growth came in the government sector, which added 3,600 jobs. Educational and health services grew by 1,800. Health care and social assistance added 1,700 jobs, and educational services rose by 100.
Trade, transportation, and utilities expanded by 1,600 jobs. Retail trade added 900, wholesale trade grew by 500 jobs, and transportation, warehousing, and utilities climbed by 200. Leisure and hospitality posted a gain of 700 positions.
The notable decrease came in farm labor, which receded by 1,100 jobs from August to September. Much of the shrinkage came as a result of the raisin grape harvest coming to an end. The labor-intensive industry requires hundreds of workers every year to harvest the grapes and lay them in the sun to dry into raisins.
People who aren’t looking for work, including students who returned to school, retirees or “discouraged workers” – long-term unemployed who have effectively given up their search for jobs – are not counted as part of the available labor force.
Statewide, California’s jobless rate was 5.3 percent. California employers added 30,000 nonfarm jobs in September. Nationally, the jobless rate was 4.8 percent.