SLO County’s unemployment rate improves in October from a year ago

San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate was 4.3 percent in October, down from 5.3 percent in October 2014 and above September’s revised 4.1 percent rate.

California’s Employment Development Department releases monthly data on employment and industry rates.

The county’s rate last month also was below the unadjusted October unemployment rates of 5.7 percent for California and 4.8 percent for the nation.

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

October’s rate was seventh best among the state’s 58 counties, tied with Orange County. San Mateo County reported the lowest October jobless rate in the state, at 3.2 percent. Imperial County reported the highest, at 21.8 percent.

Last month, 137,700 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County, out of a total civilian labor force of 144,000. The labor force includes everyone working and looking for work.

Excluding the self-employed, companies and agencies in the county reported 3,800 more jobs in October than in the same month last year — a 3.4 percent increase.

Gains in the educational and health services industries boosted job growth in the county, with 1,200 total jobs added in October — an 8.1 percent increase year over year.

Gains in the mining, logging and construction industries also led employment in the county in October, with 900 jobs added — up 13.2 percent from the same month last year.

The professional and business services industries lost a net total of 400 jobs in October, down 3.3 percent from October 2014.

Of the largest cities in the county, Atascadero reported the lowest jobless rate last month, at 3.6 percent, with 600 of its 15,400 residents eligible for the workforce counted as unemployed, according to subcounty data from the Employment Development Department.

The city of San Luis Obispo’s jobless rate was 4.6 percent in October, with 1,200 of its 26,200 eligible residents counted as unemployed.

Paso Robles reported a rate of 4.8 percent, with 800 of its 16,400 eligible workers unemployed.

Arroyo Grande reported a rate of 3.7 percent, with 400 of its 9,700 eligible workers unemployed.

Data may not add up because of rounding. All unemployment rates reported are calculated on unrounded data.

Subcounty rates are subject to large month-to-month fluctuations, because of a smaller workforce at the city level.

Danielle Ames: 805-781-7902