Slowing Economy

March 10, 2008 8:56:09 PM PDT
Fresno County is not immune to the slowing economy and more and more people are finding themselves unemployed.Two of the hardest hit areas are construction and retail. Between November 2007 and January 2008 the retail industry lost 500 jobs.

The same holds true for the construction industry which also lost 500 jobs during the same period. That's causing some to now look for alternatives.

The struggling housing market has hurt everyone from laborers and architects to mortgage brokers and landscapers.

Many were forced to re-enter the job market.

William Rice, Fresno State Economist: "People are hungry right now. there's not enough work to go around so they're looking for work."

They're searching for recession-proof jobs.

Pam Lassetter, Workforce Investment Board: "Alot of our job seekers are interested in healthcare and that's a very safe industry."

"They feel it is recession-proof."

Fresno State Economist William Rice: "As long as you have insurance processes you're going to see healthcare stay fairly stable. People are going to get sick. Kids are going to get sick."

The workforce investment board has just completed a Fresno County employment study. It showed a reduced demand for jobs in agri-business and manufacturing.

The report also forecast the need for over 600 automotive technology workers in the next three years.

Pam Lassetter, Workforce Investment Board: "Auto technology's a huge need in our area for many different types of occupations from dealer service advisors to parts technicians."

The Ag industry has rebounded after last January's freeze. Many food processors and warehouse workers are back on the job.

Steve Gutierrez, Labor Market Consultant: "Hopefully the retail and trade will get back into a climbing type of pattern."

Fresno State Economist William Rice isn't as optimistic.

"I just see it as being difficult for the next year and a half or two years."

The Fresno County employment study offers job-seekers helpful information on available positions specific requirements and salary.


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