MONTEREY, Calif. - New employment numbers show Monterey and Santa Cruz counties have an unemployment rate well above the state and national average. Monterey's non-seasonally adjusted rate is 5.8 percent. Santa Cruz is at 5.4 percent. California is at 4.0 with the national average at 3.9.
However the construction industry has had an increase in central coast hiring in 2017. Monterey County boosted their construction hiring by almost seven percent. Ron Chesshire, CEO of the Monterey/ Santa Cruz Building and Construction Trades Council said this is a continuing trend from the last couple years.
"There's a lot of construction activity in the region," said Chesshire. He also points to construction being cyclical. He said it took a bit of a hit during the recent recession, but now companies are starting to build again. "As the economy gets a little better, you see investment in the private sector also."
Chesshire encourages people out of work in other fields to get the training needed to move into contruction. The Monterey/Santa Cruz Building and Construction Trades Council includes pre-apprenticeship programs.
"Basically, educate the individual as to what is demanded of you in the construction industry. And help you make a decision on whether you want to come in or not," Chesshire said.