Valley unemployment drops in July

California's unemployment rate was unchanged in July, but the job market looked a  little better in the San Joaquin Valley.
The state had a jobless rate of 10.7 percent in the month, even with June but down from 11.9 percent in July 2011. The national unemployment rate, meanwhile, went from 8.2 percent to 8.3 percent.

Fresno County's unemployment rate was 14.7 percent in July, down from 15.2 percent in June and 16.2 percent a year ago.

The county added 100 jobs in all industries during the month and 6,200 since last year. Farming picked up 4,000 new workers in July followed by professional and business services with 300 more. The government sector shrank by 4,200 jobs.

The unemployment rate in Kings County was 14.5 percent in July, down from 15.4 percent the prior month and 15.9 percent a year ago.

The county saw 700 new jobs during the month and 2,200 more since July 2011. Farming added 400 new jobs in the month while manufacturing picked up 600. Educational and health services lost 100 jobs while government dropped 200.

In Madera County, the unemployment rate fell to 14.1 percent compared to 14.6 percent in June and 15.3 percent a year ago.

The total number of jobs remained unchanged from June and the county actually had 800 fewer jobs compared to last year. During the month, government and hospitality lost 500 jobs and 100 jobs respectively, although farm jobs were up 400.

Tulare County was the only one in the Central Valley that saw its jobless rate increase during the month, going from 15.2 percent in June to 15.8 percent in July. However, both were an improvement from 16.9 percent in July 2011.

While the county had 800 more jobs than last year, it lost 9,600 over the month. Virtually every sector shed jobs in July, including farming by 3,600, government by 2,200 and the trade, transportation and utilities sector by 600.