SLO County unemployment rate falls in October

San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate continued its decline October as local industries added 4,100 jobs year over year, state data show.  

The unemployment rate was 7.3 percent last month, well below October 2011’s rate of 8.9 percent and down from a revised 7.4 percent in September 2012, according to state data that are not seasonally adjusted.  

Because of regular, seasonal work fluctuations — which can be significant — unemployment data are compared with the same month year over year.

In October, the unadjusted unemployment rate for California was 9.8 percent, and 7.5 percent for the nation.   

The size of the local labor force grew 2.2 percent year over year this October to 143,400. 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 October, approximately 10,500 were unemployed, a year-over-year drop of 15.3 percent. An additional 107,500 had industry or farm employment, and 25,400 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 4,100 more jobs in October than during the same month in 2011, a 4 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 October was 9.4 percent in 2010. The lowest rate for October was 2.7 percent in 1999.  

Leading employment in October with 18.8 percent year-over-year gains was the state government education category, which added 600 jobs. The construction category, which also includes mining and logging, added 600 jobs compared with October 2011, a growth of 11.5 percent.

Meanwhile, manufacturing was down 6.8 percent year over year, with a loss of 400 jobs. Farm employment was down 4.8 percent with a loss of 300 jobs.