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SLO County unemployment rate falls in June

San Luis Obispo County's jobless rate was 5.3 percent in June, far below the year-ago rate of 6.9 percent — tying with Sonoma County for sixth-best among California's 58 counties.

Elsewhere in the state, Marin County reported the lowest June jobless rate in the state at 4 percent, and Imperial County reported the highest at 22 percent.

San Luis Obispo County's rate in June was also below the unadjusted June unemployment rates of 7.3 percent for California and 6.3 percent for the nation.

Unemployment for the county peaked during the recession at 10.5 percent in January 2010, according to data provided by the state Employment Development Department.

Last month, 134,200 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County, out of a total civilian labor force of 141,800.

The labor force, also called the labor participation rate, includes everyone working, looking for work or receiving unemployment benefits in the county.

Excluding the self-employed, county companies and agencies had 1,200 more jobs this June than in the same month last year, a 1.1 percent increase.

Gains in the professional health and business services industry led job growth in the county, with 600 jobs added in June in that category — up 5.2 percent from the same period a year ago.

The educational and health services category also saw gains, with 600 jobs added in June — a 4.5 percent increase year-over-year.

But the trade, transportation and utilities industry lost 900 jobs in June, down 4.3 percent from the year-earlier period.

The city of San Luis Obispo's jobless rate was 5.9 percent in June, with 1,700 people out of its 28,500 eligible workforce counted as unemployed, according to sub-county data provided by the state Employment Development Department. Paso Robles had a rate of 6.4 percent, with 900 of its 13,400 eligible workers counted as unemployed.

Because of a smaller workforce on the city level, sub-county rates are subject to large fluctuations month to month.

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