13 Cities Post Unemployment Above 15 Percent

Porterville-Visalia makes the Top 10- Again!

Bureau of Labor Statistics releases monthly metropolitan-area data,

via 13 Cities Post Unemployment Above 15 Percent – Yahoo! Real Estate.

First, a little explanation of the chart in the link, then a comment or two.

Although the chart says “Visalia, CA” at 15.4, it actually means VISALIA-PORTERVILLE METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA).

I wondered, with so many nearby locations on the list (in particular Hanford, but also Fresno, Modesto, and Stockton, how did Porterville manage to escape? Could it be just below the Top 13?

The answer turns out to be yes and no. I went in search of the raw data to see what it said for Porterville. First I found City Specific data for Tulare County in the form of a spreadsheet.

From that we learn that the data for Porterville and East Porterville (listed separately for some reason I don’t know, the areas are contiguous):

Monthly Labor Force Data for Cities and Census Designated Places (CDP)
April 2009 – Preliminary
Data Not Seasonally Adjusted
Labor Employ- Unemployment Census Ratios
Area Name Force ment Number Rate Emp Unemp
East Porterville CDP 4,000 3,200 800 20.4% 0.017615 0.024856
Porterville city 22,000 18,900 3,100 14.1% 0.105003 0.095011

So, depending on if we average E. Porteville in or not, Porterville would indeed be on the list. If we don’t average it in, Porterville would in fact be just below the Top 13, probably easily making the Top 20 in the Nation.

But I noticed in the same spreadsheet that the data for Visalia did not match the article above:

Visalia city 57,000 51,500 5,500 9.6% 0.286366 0.167197

So this must not be the same source of data.

Further searching led to this file (pdf) which does match the 15.4 for Visalia-Porterville.

VISALIA-PORTERVILLE METROPOLITAN STATISTICAL AREA (MSA)
(Tulare County)
The unemployment rate in the Tulare County was 15.4 percent in April 2009

So there you have it. Maybe it is a blessing or a curse, but Porterville’s name seems destined to be forever dropped from these charts as published in the media each month even though it is in fact included in the data.

A blessing in that no one hears of our troubles, but a curse in that our Economic Development City Staff and local private sector entrepreneurs (Including yours truly) can not grab the public’s attention if there is little evidence we exist in a short attention span world.

Even Hanford, which is both closer to Visalia than Porterville and smaller than it is at least in theory able to reap the benefits of “any publicity is good publicity”. It is not clear why they represent a separate Census Designated Place other than that they are in Kings County rather than Tulare, but they do get their names in their news to be noticed by outsiders looking to help, and that can only be a benefit.

Posted in Choose Porterville, Thoughts and Comments and tagged .

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