SLO County unemployment falls in August

The unemployment rate for San Luis Obispo County was 8.1 percent in August, below August 2011’s unemployment rate of 9.6 percent and down from a revised 8.5 percent in July 2012, according to state data that is not seasonally adjusted.

In August, the unadjusted unemployment rate was 10.4 percent for California and 8.2 percent for the nation.

The size of the local labor force grew 1 percent year over year this August to 139,000. Also called the labor participation rate, this figure includes everyone working, looking for work or receiving unemployment benefits in San Luis Obispo County.

Of the labor force in August, approximately 11,300 were unemployed; 102,600 had industry or farm employment; and 25,100 were self-employed, unpaid family workers, or household domestic workers, the data show.

Not counting the self-employed, San Luis Obispo County’s companies or agencies had 2,800 more jobs in August compared to the same month in 2011, a 2.8 percent increase year over year, according to state data. Employment is categorized by place of work.

According to state records dating back to 1990, the county’s highest unemployment rate for the month of August was 10.2 percent in 2010. The lowest rate for August was 3.2 percent in 1999. Because of regular, seasonal work fluctuations — which can be significant — unemployment data are compared with the same month year over year.

Leading employment in August with year-over-year gains were the leisure and hospitality and the professional and business services categories, which each added 800 jobs. Education and health services and trade, transportation and utilities were also strong, with 700 jobs added in each compared with August 2011.

Meanwhile, manufacturing lost 400 jobs compared with last August, and government lost 300.