San Luis Obispo County's jobless rate decreased to 5.8 percent in August, marking the fourth time this year that the rate has fallen below 6 percent.
The rate dipped to 5.2 percent in April, and stayed below 6 percent until July, when it temporarily spiked to an adjusted rate of 6.1 percent, according to data provided by the state Employment Development Department. Unemployment for the county peaked during the recession at 10.5 percent in January 2010.
The county’s rate last month also was below the unadjusted August unemployment rates of 7.4 percent for California and 6.3 percent for the nation.
San Luis Obispo County’s rate ranked it ninth best among California's 58 counties. Elsewhere in the state, Marin County reported the lowest August jobless rate at 4.2 percent, and Imperial County reported the highest at 25.1 percent.
Last month, 131,400 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County, out of a total civilian labor force of 139,500.
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 reported 1,200 more jobs this August than in the same month last year, a 1.2 percent increase.
Gains in the educational and health services industry led job growth in the county, with 700 jobs added in August in that category — up 5.4 percent from the same period a year ago.
The professional and business services category also saw gains, with 600 jobs added in August — a 5.1 percent increase year-over-year.
But the trade, transportation and utilities industry lost 1,100 jobs in August, down 5.3 percent from the year-earlier period.
Sub-county employment rates for cities in the county were not available at time of publication.