Valley unemployment drops year-to-year

FRESNO, Calif.

Unemployment levels are down this summer over last summer but some people say their new jobs don't pay enough to cover their bills.

Juan Ramos is hoping full-time work will soon find its way into his wide open schedule. "A real job that's going to pay me decent wages and also give me those 8 hours I need," Ramos said. "I think I'll be able to get my bills together."

He spends his time, like hundreds of others, at the Workforce Connection in Central Fresno, applying for jobs.

These new numbers from the California Employment Development Department, or EDD, give him that hope. Each county, with the exception of Mariposa, is between 11 and 14 percent unemployment.

But all six counties saw a decrease in unemployment in June 2013 compared to June 2012. Merced County numbers dropped the most, but it still has the highest rate of unemployed residents.

"One month will not make a trend, but we have had consecutive months so that looks good," said Pedro Vargas. He works with the EDD in Merced county and says the consecutive drop in unemployment is directly tied to people having the ability to spend more money.

"A lot of it, I say that's helping, is the confidence of people in the valley," he said.

One of the industries with the most growth is leisure and hospitality, which includes hotels and restaurants.

But the new stats don't prove positive for everyone. James Rogers says the dull economy is forcing him to look for part-time work to supplement his full-time gig. "If you do get hired you're not getting paid enough where you can take care of your household," he said.

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