March jobless rate in San Luis Obispo County steady at 4.3 percent

San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate was 4.3 percent in March, which was below the rate of 4.8 percent in March 2015. It was unchanged from February’s revised 4.3 percent rate.

Because of seasonal work fluctuations, which can be significant, unemployment data are compared with those of 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 March was lower than the unadjusted unemployment rates of 5.6 percent for California and 5.1 percent for the nation in the same month.

The county’s rate was seventh best among California’s 58 counties, tied with Alameda County. San Mateo County reported the lowest March jobless rate in the state, at 3 percent. Colusa County reported the highest, at 20.6 percent.

In March, 138,300 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County out of a civilian labor force of 144,500. The labor force includes everyone working and looking for work.

Excluding the self-employed, companies and agencies in the county reported 2,900 more jobs in March than in the same month last year — a 2.6 percent increase.

Gains in government industries boosted job growth in the county, with 400 total jobs added in March — up 1.2 percent from the same month last year.

Other services industries lost a net total of 100 jobs in March, resulting in no change from March 2015. Mining, logging and construction industries also lost a net total of 100 jobs in March; the industries did not see any change from the same month last year.

Of the largest cities in the county, Atascadero reported the lowest jobless rate in March, at 3.5 percent, with 500 of its 15,400 residents eligible for the workforce counted as unemployed, according to subcounty data from the EDD.

The city of San Luis Obispo’s jobless rate was 4.5 percent in March, with 1,200 of its 26,300 eligible residents counted as unemployed.

Paso Robles reported a rate of 4.8 percent, with 800 of its 16,700 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 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.

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