San Luis Obispo County's unemployment rate was 4.3 percent in May, down from 5.1 percent for the same month in 2014. It was unchanged from April’s revised 4.3 percent rate.
The California Employment Development Department releases monthly data on employment and industry rates. The county's rate last month was below the unadjusted May jobless rates of 6.2 percent for California and 5.3 percent for the nation.
Because of seasonal work fluctuations — which can be significant — unemployment data are compared with the same month year over year.
May's rate was seventh best among the state's 58 counties. San Mateo County reported the lowest May jobless rate in the state, at 3.3 percent. Imperial County reported the highest, at 21.3 percent.
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Last month, 136,900 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County out of a total civilian labor force of 143,100. The labor force includes everyone working and looking for work.
Excluding the self-employed, companies and agencies in the county reported 2,300 more jobs in May than in the same month last year — a 2.05 percent increase.
Gains in the educational and health services industries led job growth in the county, with 1,300 total jobs added in May — a 9.09 percent increase year over year. Gains in the mining, logging and construction industries also boosted employment in the county in May, with 500 jobs added — up 7.81 percent from the same month last year.
The government industry lost a net total of 200 jobs in May. Most of the losses occurred in the local government subcategory, which shed 500 jobs from May 2014. The financial activities industry also lost a net total of 200 jobs in May, down 5 percent from May 2014.
Of the largest cities in the county, Atascadero reported the lowest May jobless rate at 3.6 percent, with 600 out of its 15,400 residents eligible for the workforce counted as unemployed, according to sub-county data from the state Employment Development Department.
The city of San Luis Obispo's jobless rate was 4.6 percent in May, with 1,200 out of its 26,100 eligible residents counted as unemployed.
Paso Robles reported a rate of 4.9 percent, with 800 of its 16,300 eligible workers unemployed.
Arroyo Grande reported a rate of 3.8 percent, with 400 out of its 9,600 eligible workers unemployed.
Data may not add up because of rounding. All unemployment rates reported are calculated on unrounded data. Because of a smaller workforce at the city level, sub-county rates are subject to large month-to-month fluctuations.