Labor Day is laboring for unemployed

FRESNO, Calif.

The latest stats from the Employment Development Department show Fresno County with 16.2% unemployed. The highest rate is in Merced with nearly 19% and the lowest rate is Mariposa at 10%.

One unemployed Clovis family is spending this holiday appreciating what they have. The Wilcoxes are like many families in the Central Valley. They have two children, Geno is four and Bella is seven.

Angie Wilcox volunteers her services at preschool. And Rex Wilcox is unemployed.

On June 1st he and 150 other employees at Community Regional Medical Center were cut as part of a cost saving measure.

"We knew we might lose a couple of positions. Then when my boss came in and sat down and said, 'You know it's everything. We're gone,'" said Wilcox.

Rex Wilcox stepped out into Fresno County as one of the unemployed. His wife said that can be tough for any family to face.

"If the economy wasn't in the shape that it was in I don't know if we would even feel as comfortable putting it out there right away," Angie Wilcox said.

The latest labor statistics show a decline in government jobs, nearly 114,000 lost in August. However there was an increase in the private sector. Nearly 67,000 jobs were created which analysts did not expect.

During a time when most working families get a chance to enjoy the day off and spend it at parks like this, the Wilcox family is having to think carefully about where their next paycheck is coming from.

Wilcox is relying on a severance package and small unemployment checks to provide for his family but they will run out.

The search for work has led them out of state. They are looking at jobs in Philadelphia and Fort Worth, Texas. "At this point we're just taking it as a great opportunity to take that next adventure," Rex Wilcox said.

"It's kinda cool. We could be living on the East Coast. We could be living down South," said Angie Wilcox.

The Wilcoxes are upfront with their children about their situation. They said unemployment has made them appreciate what they have as a family.

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