SLO County’s labor market improves

San Luis Obispo County’s labor market had 2,400 more jobs in June than in the same month in 2011, according to state data.

Nearly half of those jobs were created by people who became self-employed or who started their own business. Within industrial employment, construction led June’s gains by adding 600 jobs year-over-year, according to the California Employment Development Department.

The trade, transportation and utilities category, and the leisure and hospitality category also picked up new hires. Each employed 500 more people locally during June compared with a year ago, according to the state.

Construction also posted the biggest percentage gain year-over-year in June, with that sector growing 11.8 percent. Most other categories posted modest single-digit gains on the year.

The number of people employed in San Luis Obispo County grew to 129,500, a 1.9 percent increase, this June from the same month in 2011.

The size of the local labor force grew 0.6 percent year-over-year in June to 141,500. Also called the labor participation rate, this figure includes everyone working, looking for work or receiving unemployment benefits in San Luis Obispo County.

The number of people reported as unemployed locally was 12,000 in June, compared with 13,500 in June 2011 — an 11.1 percent improvement year-over-year.

In June, the unemployment rate, not seasonally adjusted, locally was 8.5 percent compared with 9.6 percent a year ago, according to state figures.

May’s jobless rate was revised to 7.8 percent, not seasonally adjusted, but cannot be compared with June because of traditional seasonal variations that affect employment patterns such as summer or holiday hiring.

The “other services” category — which includes repair and maintenance and professional or trade organizations — posted the largest year-over-year percentage decline in June, 11.4 percent, or 500 fewer jobs.

Manufacturing employment shrank by 5.2 percent compared with June 2011, posting 300 fewer jobs. Government employment — a large segment of the local labor market — shrank 0.9 percent year-over-year, losing 200 jobs.