Unemployment down across Arizona and California

YUMA, Ariz. – Albert Eaton moved to Yuma six months ago and says it’s not been easy finding work.

“Tough, really, it’s been tough,” Eaton said.

He hopes to land a permanent position rather than temporary work, something he says is hard to come by.

“Here it’s hard, because they’re either hiring temporary or they’re not hiring at all,” he told us.

Latest numbers show Yuma’s unemployment rate is 22.1%. That’s better than this time last year, but still far worse than the nation’s 5.5% average.

Patrick Goetz is a business services officer at Yuma Private Industry Council, a federally funded agency that helps job seekers find work. He says unemployment in Yuma County is seasonal.

“We’re in agricultural season. We have a lot of tourism.  You have your winter visitors here. Naturally there’s more people employed,” Goetz explained.

The good news is work opportunities for local job seekers may be on the uptick. Goetz says many out of state companies come to take advantage of seasonal workers out of a job by early summer.

“El Centro, California and Yuma are heavily recruited, especially for companies operating out of Seattle and Alaska,” he went on to say.

Eaton says he had a job interview Thursday and is not giving up hope.

“I’m just gonna keep looking and have faith,” Easton said.

Alaska’s fishing season falls during the local off season for agriculture. That’s why several seafood companies come to the area looking for workers.

About The Author

Eduardo Santiago joined the FOX 9 and ABC 5 news team in February, 2012. That’s the same year KECY launched its very first local newscast. He has been covering local news in Yuma and the Imperial Valley since his start as a KYMA photojournalist in 2006. During his decade in broadcasting, Eduardo has covered some of the biggest stories in the Desert Southwest – from President Bush’s visit to Yuma, Ariz. to the uncovering of drug tunnels that span the US-Mexico border. One of the most memorable stories Eduardo covered was the 2010 Easter Earthquake that rocked the Imperial Valley, Mexicali, and Yuma. Eduardo, along with his news team, won an award from the Associated Press for best coverage of an ongoing story following the quake. Before he made his move to TV, Eduardo was just a kid born in East Los Angeles, where he spent his early childhood. His parents moved him to Mexicali, B.C. Mexico, where he did most of his elementary school education. He finally landed in El Centro, where he graduated from Central Union High School in 2005. Eduardo is currently a student at Imperial Valley College. You can find Eduardo hanging out in the Imperial Valley and Yuma with his family on any given weekend. His off-screen passion is playing guitar and sports.

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