SLO County's unemployment rate ticks up in January

ppemberton@thetribunenews.comMarch 7, 2014 

San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate in January rose slightly from December but was still down considerably from the same time a year ago, according to figures released Friday by the California Employment Development Department.

The unemployment rate in January was 6.2 percent, up from 5.8 percent in December. In January, 2013, the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent.

Oceano recorded the highest unemployment rate — 11.8 percent — while Shandon had the lowest at 3.1 percent. The unemployment rates for other cities include Atascadero, 5.0 percent; Morro Bay, 4.9 percent; Paso Robles, 7.4 percent; Pismo Beach, 6.3 percent; and San Luis Obispo, 6.8 percent. San Luis Obispo has the largest labor force with 28,300.

Most industries have seen gains in the past year in the county, including state and local government employment, which was up 8.6 percent. The total private sector increased 2.2 percent. The largest private sector field, service jobs — representing a labor force of 70,000 — saw a 3.5 percent gain from a year ago, while increases were also recorded in professional and business services (2.6 percent); leisure and hospitality (2.6 percent); mining, logging and construction (5.3 percent); goods producing (2.5 percent) and education and health services (5.3 percent). Trade, warehousing and utilities saw the biggest drop, down 2.6 percent.

California’s unemployment rate for January was 8.5 percent. San Luis Obispo County fared significantly better than its neighbors Monterey (13.2 percent), Santa Barbara (7.2), and Kern (12.3) counties. Fresno County’s unemployment rate was 13.6 percent.

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