One of the oldest European settlements in the San Joaquin Valley, Visalia sits nearly 200 miles north of Los Angeles with a residential population of 124,442. The city serves as the center of government for surrounding Tulare County and is a long-standing agricultural hub shipping produce across the country. Local flora is particularly important to residents with ordinances in place to protect native Valley oak trees from further destruction from aggressive pruning or outright removal.
Visalia Job Opportunities
The farming, fishing and forestry industries are the largest employing sectors for Visalia jobs. As of 2013, these industries employed more than 21,000 people in the area in various positions, including first-line supervisors, agricultural inspectors and conservation workers. This figure does not include the over 18,000 farm workers, including greenhouse laborers, wholesale merchants and crop production support staff employed in the same industries.
Despite its agricultural focus, the top employers in the area, according to the Visalia Economic Development Corporation, are Tulare County (government), the Kaweah Delta Health Care District and the College of the Sequoias, making administrative jobs in Visalia easy to come by.
Visalia Employment Trends
Seasonality across agricultural industries leads to spikes in open positions during harvesting and planting times of the year. These jobs are plentiful at the right time, but the mean hourly wage ($9.69) is lower than the mean hourly wage of more stable work environments like office and administrative support, which has a mean hourly wage of $15.58 as of 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The median hourly wage for Visalia across all industries and employment sectors is $13.43, with a mean annual wage of $37,400. In stark contrast to those numbers, the mean annual wage for California workers is $53,030 as of 2013. Forbes estimates job growth for Visalia at 2.9 percent -- better than the national average. Visalia's unemployment rate, however, is higher than the nation's average at 13.5 percent.
Visalia Cost of Living
Estimated home and condo value in Visalia is $162,600. This figure is markedly lower than the average price for homes in similar categories, which ranges from about $285,000 to more than $300,000, depending on size. Median gross rent in the area is $927 per month. According to data compiled by Forbes, Visalia's cost of living ranks at 6.3 percent below the national average, which may account for the heavy agricultural and unskilled labor jobs available in the area.