Unemployment rate drops 1.5% in Fresno County in 2021

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- As the service and retail sectors of the economy are taking an obvious hit with supply chain issues, experts say the labor shortage can be felt across the board.

Fresno Regional Workforce Development executive director Blake Konczal says those looking for work are at an advantage right now,

"Employers are willing to take risks and people that they wouldn't take risks with prior you know, in the in the previous economy." He adds, "Now is the time to sit down figure out what you know what you need to know and to try to get that right job."

Last collected in November of 2021, Fresno County figures show an unemployment rate of 7%.

That's a 1.5% decrease from 2020.

"Even when our numbers are good in Fresno County, they're not as good as the state average or the federal average that's just kind of something that's perennial," said Konczal.

The three industries with growing job opportunities include healthcare, infrastructure and forestry.

"There are vast sums of money to try to fight fires before they start, so I mean it's almost been every year now, for the last four or five years we've had another horrifying fire," Konczal said.

Both state and federal dollars are going into infrastructure, creating job opportunities across the eight-county San Joaquin Valley region.

"From 2021 to 2031, over that 10 year period, our study identified $47 billion in approved public infrastructure construction. That's not a maybe. That's not, they got to pass a bill. That's money that is in the pipeline highways bridges," he said.

That's not including the Biden administration's infrastructure bill.

While the demand for healthcare workers was apparent before the pandemic, the growing demand in response to COVID is being met with an aging population that needs home healthcare workers.

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