Central Valley Job Seekers Explore New Opportunities at Career Fair

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More people are looking for work in California and here in the Central Valley. Newly released data from the Employment Development Department shows California’s unemployment rate rose to 4.3 percent in March, just slightly up from February. 

Workforce Connection in partnership with city, county, state, federal, and educational institutions held GOVAGANZA! career fair Thursday at Chuckchansi Park. More than 60 employers came out to meet with potential candidates. 

“I left school my junior year and have all the skills I feel is needed to move forward, and we all need that extra push and I felt this was it,” said Monesha Dennis. 

Dennis is looking to explore career opportunities in criminology. 

“I’ve been working the same job for a year and have been kind of afraid to leave that job because I wasn’t sure what exists out there so it was cool to see this,” said Frank Fernandez.

In March, California’s unemployment rate was 4.3 percent. The Central Valley continues to have some of the highest unemployment rates in the state.

According to the Employment Development Department the following unemployment rates were reported for the month of March:

United States average: 3.8 percent
California: 4.3 percent
Fresno County: 9.4 percent
Tulare County: 12.1 percent
Kings County: 10.3 percent
Madera County: 8.9 percent
Merced County: 11 percent
Mariposa County: 6.9 percent

Labor market consultant Steven Gutierrez said despite the apparent increase in unemployment, the data follows seasonal trends. He expects the rate to drop again this summer during peak agriculture months. 

“We did see a an up tick compared to this time last year but historically right now the unemployment rates are still a lot lower than what they were ten years ago,” said Gutierrez.

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