San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate fell to 7 percent in February, continuing a 27-month trend of declining year-over-year unemployment, according to state data.
The new figure was well below the February 2012 rate of 8.8 percent.
Because of seasonal work fluctuations — which can be significant — unemployment data are compared with the same month year over year.
The county’s rate for February of this year was also below the unemployment rates of 9.7 percent for California and 8.1 percent for the nation, according to data that are not seasonally adjusted.
In February, the most recent month calculated, the county labor force grew 3.2 percent year over year to 145,400, and the number of unemployed fell 17.7 percent year over year to 10,200.
Also called the labor participation rate, the labor force rate includes everyone working, looking for work or receiving unemployment benefits in San Luis Obispo County.
Excluding the self-employed, county companies and agencies had 5,200 more jobs in February than in February 2012, up 5.1 percent.
Gains in professional and business services led job growth in the county for the second-straight month, with 2,100 jobs added in February in that category alone.
Next was the leisure and hospitality category, which added 900 jobs.