SLO County's unemployment rate falls to 6.1 percent

jhickey@thetribunews.comMay 20, 2013 

San Luis Obispo County's jobless rate continued its decline in April as it fell to 6.1 percent, state data show.

In April, there were 137,000 people counted as employed out of a total civilian labor force of 145,800, the California Employment Development Department reported.

The labor force, also called the labor participation rate, includes everyone working, looking for work or receiving unemployment benefits in San Luis Obispo County.

The new figure was well below the April 2012 rate of 7.9 percent, according to data that are not seasonally adjusted.

The county's rate for April of this year was also below the unadjusted unemployment rates of 8.5 percent for California and 7.1 percent for the nation.

Because of seasonal work fluctuations — which can be significant — unemployment data are compared with the same month year over year.

The county's unemployment rate in April ranked seventh among California's 58 counties. Marin County had the lowest rate at 4.6 percent, and Imperial County had the highest rate at 24 percent.

Excluding the self-employed, county companies and agencies had 4,800 more jobs this April than in April 2012, up 4.6 percent.

Gains in professional and business services led job growth in the county for the fourth straight month, with 1800 jobs added in March in that category alone—a year-over-year increase of 16.7 percent.

Next was the leisure and hospitality category, which added 600 jobs in April to grow 3.9 percent year over year.

The state government employment category fell 5 percent, with a year-over-year loss of 500 jobs.

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