SLO County's unemployment rate dips to 6 percent in November

kleslie@thetribunenews.comDecember 26, 2013 

San Luis Obispo County's jobless rate was 6 percent in November, the lowest for that month since 2007, when unemployment was 4.4 percent, according to data released by the California Employment Development Department.

November unemployment for the county peaked during the recession at 9.8 percent in 2010.

The latest rate is down 17.1 percent from the November 2012 estimate of 7.2 percent.

November also marked the 35th consecutive month — just one month short of three years — of the unemployment rate decreasing year-over-year.

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.

November’s rate ties San Luis Obispo County with Sonoma and Napa counties for fifth best among California's 58 counties.

Elsewhere in California, Marin County reported the lowest November jobless rate in the state at 4.6 percent, and Imperial County had the highest at 23.8 percent.

San Luis Obispo County's rate in November was also below the unadjusted November unemployment rates of 8.3 percent for California and 6.6 percent for the nation.

Last month, 137,800 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County out of a total civilian labor force of 146,500.

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, county companies and agencies had 3,400 more jobs this November than in the month the year before. That represented a 3.3 percent increase.

Gains in the goods producing category, including mining, logging and construction and manufacturing, led job growth in the county, with 800 jobs added in November in that category alone — a year-over-year increase of 6.7 percent.

The transportation, warehousing and utilities category also saw job growth, with a year-over-year increase of 7.9 percent to 4,100 jobs in November.

The accommodation industry lost 300 jobs, a year-over-year decrease of 8.3 percent.

It and the state government category — which fell by 1 percent — were the only industries to lose jobs year-over-year in the county.

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