Kern County unemployment rate remains high despite statewide numbers


As some job seekers struggle to find employment in Kern County, newly released unemployment numbers in California reflect a different story. 

California’s unemployment rate is at an all-time low of 4.2 percent for the third straight month.

Still, Kern County continues to find itself having one of the highest unemployment rates in the state. 

Numbers released Friday by the Employment Development Center, rank Kern County as number four for highest unemployment.

The EDC documented a 7.7 percent unemployment rate for the month of May and a 8.7 percent for June. However, it isn’t all bad news, the county did see some job growth.

“We have labor positions open often, a lot of the positions are in the Parks and Recreation Department and our Public Works Department,” said Lisa McGranahan, Human Resource Manager for the city of Bakersfield.

McGranahan works for the city of Bakersfield’s Office of Human Resources where she helps connect job seekers to a suitable job.

From May to June, 4,500 jobs were created in Kern County. A total of 2,600 of them were in the farming industry.

The mining, lodging and construction industries, which include jobs in retail, manufacturing and oil extraction followed with 500 new jobs.

Leisure and hospitality are next with 500 new positions. 

Even though Kern’s unemployment rate is still high this year, the county’s yearly change is .5 percent below last year’s estimate of 9.2 percent during the same time.

From June 2017 to June 2018, a total of 5,200 jobs were added. 

The Health Care and Social Assistance industry added 1,200 jobs and we saw 600 positions added in the Trade, Transportation and Utilities industry. 

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