Unemployment rate drops to 6.4 percent in Fresno County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Employment in Fresno County is on the rise.

New numbers show unemployment rates dropped to 6.4 percent in May, making it the 26th consecutive month the unemployment rate has been in single digits.

"The trend right now seems to be it is growing in the positive direction," Steven Gutierrez is a labor market consultant for the state of California's Workforce Services Branch.

He believes new companies that have made the Valley home are contributing to success.

"ULTA came to Fresno. We had Amazon come to Fresno; the GAP center increased (manufacturing)," Gutierrez said. "Sprint mobile announced earlier in the year it would be having a service center in Kingsburg."

This time last year, Fresno County was sitting at a 7.7 percent unemployment rate.

With the booming agriculture industry, experts are hoping for even more momentum.

"The more crops that are available to be harvest the longer the harvest season will continue and put more people in employment,"

Other industries seeing an increase are in leisure and hospitality, which saw a rise in 900 jobs.

And manufacturing moved up by 100 jobs, with the entire gain coming in nondurable goods.

"I'm so happy," Happy because Francisco Gutierrez knows what it is like to be unemployed for months.

"It ain't fun, especially when you got kids, bills to pay," he said.

Now he is working full time, but also looking for higher paying positions in the quality control field.

While he waits on that, he is encouraging people who are unemployed to take action now.

"There are jobs out there you just have to get off your lazy butts and go look for it," he said.
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