Valley Copes with Double-Digit Unemployment

January 15, 2010 12:00:00 AM PST
California's jobless rate remained flat in December-- but Valley Counties show rates well above the state average. New numbers show the state's unemployment rate at 12.4%.                  |   Watch Video Above for Extended Coverage   |

Merced County has the Valley's highest jobless rate at 19.8%. Tulare County is at 17.5%. Mariposa County has the area's lowest rate at 12.3%.

The jobless rate in Fresno County was 16.8% last month. Much of the Valley's economy is Ag-based so typically the unemployment rate is higher during the colder months. The construction industry lost 400 more jobs last month.

Steven Gutierrez is a Labor Market Analyst with the Employment Development Department and he said, "December of 1992 was the last time that we saw the unemployment rate at 16.8% so it's been a while since it's been that high."

Gutierrez said "transportation and utilities" was the only sector to see improvement last month.


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