San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate was 4.5 percent in December, below the rate of 5.1 percent in December 2014, though above November’s revised 4.4 percent rate.
Because of seasonal work fluctuations, which can be significant, unemployment data are compared with the same month year over year as an indicator of overall trends in joblessness.
The California Employment Development Department releases monthly data on employment and industry rates.
The county’s rate for December was below the unadjusted unemployment rates of 5.8 percent for California and 4.8 percent for the nation last month.
The county’s rate was eighth best among California’s 58 counties, tied with Contra Costa County. San Mateo County reported the lowest December jobless rate in the state, at 3.1 percent. Imperial County reported the highest, at 19.6 percent.
Last month, 134,300 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County out of a total civilian labor force of 140,600. The labor force includes everyone working and looking for work.
Excluding the self-employed, companies and agencies in the county reported 4,500 more jobs in December than in the same month last year — a 4.1 percent increase.
Gains in the educational and health services industries boosted job growth in the county, with 1,500 total jobs added in December — a 10.1 percent increase, year over year. Gains in the mining, logging and construction industries also led employment in the county in December, with 1,000 jobs added — up 15.2 percent from the same month last year.
Other services industries lost a net total of 100 jobs in December, down 1.9 percent from December 2014.
Of the largest cities in the county, Atascadero reported the lowest jobless rate last month, at 3.7 percent, with 600 of its 15,100 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 4.7 percent in December, with 1,200 of its 25,600 eligible residents counted as unemployed.
Paso Robles reported a rate of 5 percent, with 800 of its 16,000 eligible workers unemployed.
Arroyo Grande reported a rate of 3.9 percent, with 400 of its 9,500 eligible workers unemployed.
Data may not add up because of rounding; all unemployment rates reported are calculated on unrounded data. Because of a smaller workforce at the city level, subcounty rates are subject to large month-to-month fluctuations.