SLO County's unemployment rate falls to 6.4 percent

jhickey@thetribunenews.comJuly 22, 2013 

The number of unemployed people in San Luis Obispo County shrank by nearly a quarter year over year, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department that is not seasonally adjusted.

San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate was 6.4 percent in June, up from 5.7 percent in May. But it was 22.8 percent below the year-ago estimate of 8.5 percent.

That continues a 31-month trend of year-over-year declines in the local unemployment rate.

June unemployment for San Luis Obispo County peaked during the recession at 9.8 percent in June 2010.

Last month’s rate puts San Luis Obispo seventh best among California’s 58 counties for employment statistics.

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

The county’s rate was also below the unadjusted unemployment rates of 8.8 percent for California in June and 7.8 percent in for the nation.

Last month, 139,100 people were counted as employed in SLO County out of a total civilian labor force of 148,600.

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

Elsewhere in California, Marin County reported the lowest rate at 5.1 percent, and Imperial County had the highest rate at 23.6 percent.

Excluding the self-employed, San Luis Obispo County companies and agencies had 4,900 more jobs this June than in June 2012, up 4.5 percent year over year.

Gains in professional and business services led job growth in the county for the fifth straight month, with 1,900 jobs added in June in that category alone — a year-over-year increase of 17 percent.

The only large sector to report year-over-year job losses was the farming category, with a loss of 300 jobs, or 5.2 percent.

Government also added 1,200 jobs in June, up 5.6 percent.

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