Unemployment has never been lower in the city of Fresno, according to state data released Friday, city officials announced.

Fresno’s jobless rate fell a half-point from 5.2% in April to 4.8% in May. City officials say it is the first time that Fresno’s jobless rate has fallen below 5%.

“This is undeniable proof that our efforts are paying off, not just with new e-commerce jobs at Amazon, Ulta and the Gap, but in the number of ribbon-cuttings on new business and expansions by existing business.” — Mayor Lee Brand

There were 224,800 employed in Fresno in May, according to the data from California’s Employment Development Department.

The city’s numbers track with EDD’s data on the county and state levels. Fresno County’s unemployment rate for May was 6.4%, a tenth of a point away from the county’s lowest mark on EDD records dating back to January 1990. The state’s unemployment rate was 4.2% for the second straight month.

Double-digit Unemployment Just a Few Years Ago

Fresno Mayor Lee Brand said the recent openings and expansions of massive distribution centers, and the jobs they provide, are only part of the story.

“This is undeniable proof that our efforts are paying off, not just with new e-commerce jobs at Amazon, Ulta and the Gap, but in the number of ribbon-cuttings on new business and expansions by existing business,” Brand said in a statement.  “The numbers also prove that we can’t be satisfied with our success.

“This momentum can only continue by maintaining our focus on creating an environment for good paying jobs that will improve the quality of life for everyone in Fresno.”

The May jobless rate marks the lowest figure for Fresno since its most recent low of 5.0% in March 2018, according to the EDD, and is more than three points lower than the 8.1% unemployment rate released for May 2017, just two years ago.

It’s quite a rebound from five years ago. In 2014, roughly four years after the Great Recession, Fresno’s unemployment rate for the full year was 12.5%.

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