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Valley unemployment drops below 15 percent

All four counties in the Central Valley continue to improve their year-over-year unemployment rates.All four counties in the Central Valley continue to improve their year-over-year unemployment rates.All four Central Valley counties’ unemployment rates dropped below 15 percent in May, according to the monthly release from the Economic Development Department on Friday.

Madera County continues to have the lowest unemployment rate in the four-county region at 14.3 percent, followed by Tulare County at 14.7 percent, Kings County at 14.8 percent and Fresno County at 14.9 percent.

Tulare County had the largest decline in the month-to-month unemployment rate, dropping from 16.1 percent in April to 14.7 percent in May. Madera County had the next largest decrease, going from 15.5 percent to 14.3 percent, Fresno County dropped from 15.8 percent to 14.9 percent and Kings County declined from 15.6 percent to 14.8 percent.

All four counties also improved their year-over-year unemployment rates. Last May, Fresno County had the highest unemployment rate at 16 percent, followed by Kings County at 15.7 percent, Tulare County at 15.3 percent and Madera County at 15 percent.

Three of the four counties increased the number of total jobs in the county over the past 12 months, with Madera County being the exception. Fresno County added 5,700 new jobs, Tulare County added 2,000 jobs, Kings County added 1,700 jobs and Madera County lost 700 jobs.

The state unemployment rate came in at 10.4 percent and the nation’s unemployment rate was 7.9 percent.