SLO County's August unemployment rate down to 6.6 percent

September 24, 2013 

San Luis Obispo County's jobless rate was 6.6 percent in August, the lowest for that month since August 2008, when unemployment was 6.4 percent, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department.

August unemployment for the county peaked during the recession at 10.1 percent in 2010.

The latest rate is down 18.8 percent from the August 2012 estimate of 8.2 percent.

Because of seasonal work fluctuations — which can be significant — unemployment data are compared with the same month year-over-year. The data are not seasonally adjusted.

Last month's rate ties SLO County with Sonoma County for seventh best among California's 58 counties for employment statistics.

Elsewhere in California, Marin County reported the lowest jobless rate at 5 percent, and Imperial County had the highest rate at 26.3 percent.

San Luis Obispo County's rate was also below the unadjusted August unemployment rates of 8.8 percent for California and 7.3 percent for the nation.

Last month, 134,200 people were counted as employed in SLO County out of a total civilian labor force of 143,700.

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

Excluding the self-employed, SLO County companies and agencies had 1,400 more jobs this August than in August 2012, up 1.4 percent year over year.

Gains in the transportation, warehousing and utilities category led job growth in the county, with 300 jobs added in August in that category alone — a year-over-year increase of 7.9 percent.

The mining, lodging and construction category also saw job growth with a year-over-year increase of 7.3 percent to 5,900 jobs in August.

Government lost 900 jobs, with the highest percentage coming from local government. That category shrank 9 percent from 10,000 to 9,100 jobs in August.

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