Tehama County unemployment rate steadily on the rise

Mar 11, 2015 7:47 PM by Charlene Cheng

Christopher Vasquez earns a small wage working a couple of hours a day at a church in Red Bluff, just barely enough to live on.

"Sometimes I want to be able to afford peanut butter, instead of just a peanut," he said.

Vasquez is one of thousands in Tehama County looking for work.

But being on parole, finding a full-time job has been nearly impossible.

"I even have a curfew condition. If I work past a certain hour it sets off an alarm," he explained.

According to the Tehama County Chamber of Commerce, Vasquez is not alone.

"Some of the challenges are just qualifications. It could be educational needs, criminal history is checked, as well as Facebook and social media," CEO Dave Gowan said.

Statewide, the unemployment numbers are dropping, but in Tehama County, it just continues going up.

Last December, the jobless rate hovered at 8.8%.

Now, it's jumped to nearly 11%.

"To me it seems that even with those numbers, there's a slight uptick of hiring. I know there's a lot of businesses, whether its medical or retail, that are looking for qualified applicants," Gowan said.

Red Bluff resident Sergio Martinez is currently between jobs, but he's not worried.

"If I put in an effort everyday it does't take me very long to come across something," he said.

Martinez says he's never unemployed for long.

The secret to his success?

Not being picky.

"I don't mind labor work, so I think that broadens my opportunities. A lot of people wouldn't be willing to do the work that I would," he said.


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