Experts say the job market is growing

Thousands of people in search of work went to the job fair at the Fresno fairgrounds.
March 26, 2014 12:00:00 AM PDT
Thousands of people in search of work went to the job fair at the Fresno fairgrounds.

The unemployment rate in the city of Fresno is around 12 percent and in Fresno County, around 13 percent.

Wednesday morning, some lined up outside the Valley's largest job fair as early as 5:00 a.m. to be among the first people through the gates and in front of potential employers.

"To look for work," said Robert Cerda. "I need work, anything. I have my family and stuff, so I want to work."

Valley resident Robert Cerda came to the event looking for a job in an ag-related field.

The event was hosted by several agencies to bring together employers and job seekers in one place.

Economic experts say the Valley is emerging from the recession and seeing new trends.

"Now construction is finally coming back," said Fresno County EDC President & CEO Lee Ann Eager. "Manufacturing. People have said California is not a manufacturing state anymore, but that has changed in the last year. Now we're looking at some of those manufacturing changes. And certainly food processing. Any of our Ag related industries are finally coming back."

Sierra Food Group was one of those on hand. The small company processes nut products in Northwest Fresno.

Sierra Food Group President Rodney Walker said, "We started with about 20 employees and we're at 80 employees now and we're looking still to and more this year."

Another company hiring, Gerawan Farming. Even in drought, the world's biggest stone fruit producer says it needs employees.

Oscar Garcia said, "We have client's here in the states, but we also serve markets in Mexico, Asia and Europe, so thankfully we have been able to actually maintain the jobs and increase the production."

For the thousands of attendees that came out to the job fair, many said it provided them a chance to meet employers face to face, hand in resumes and hopefully land one of the jobs available.


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