Fresno Co. unemployment rate continues to rise

FRESNO, Calif.

Fresno, Tulare, Madera, Merced counties saw an increase in unemployment in July compared to June as much as a full point. Kings County was the only area where unemployment dropped.

Here in Fresno County the unemployment rate increased significantly despite a sizable increase in ag jobs.

More than 73,000 people were unemployed in Fresno County last month. That's 16.2-percent of the entire labor force compared to 15.9 in June and 14.8 a year ago.

Unemployment rates usually drop in the summer months due to an increase in ag jobs and even though 3,900 farm jobs were added in July, the employment development department say the higher unemployment rate could be partly due to a larger workforce, such as people coming out of retirement or recent college graduates looking for work.

"Its not just people that are out of work, as more people actually go into the workforce that could actually have in increase in regards to the unemployment rate too, cause there's more people in the labor force." Steven Gutierrez of Employment Development Dept. said.

Phyllis McQuiller is an example of that, she's looking for work after staying home for a year to babysit her grandchildren.

"With the economy down people are going to have to want to trust you and my resume doesn't say a lot of retail experience they are not going to want me in retail," McQuiller said.

There's a reason she's having a hard time finding work. 900 jobs related to consumer spending-- like retail, leisure and hospitality were lost in the month of July.

But the biggest decline was in government jobs which saw a loss of 8,100 jobs from June to July of this year-- and budget shortfalls could be largely to blame

"Now you're really going to start seeing the impact in regards to your local, city, state governments in regards to the furloughs that have been going on the layoffs," Gutierrez said.

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