SLO County unemployment rate dips in April

San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate was 3.9 percent in April, which was lower than the rate of 4.4 percent in April 2015. It was also lower than March’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 April was lower than the unadjusted unemployment rates of 5.2 percent for California and 4.7 percent for the nation in the same month.

The county’s rate was the sixth best among California’s 58 counties, tied with Napa and Orange counties. San Mateo County reported the lowest April jobless rate in the state, at 2.9 percent. Imperial County reported the highest, at 20.1 percent.

In April, 138,500 people were counted as employed in San Luis Obispo County out of a civilian labor force of 144,200. The labor force includes everyone working and looking for work.

Excluding the self-employed, companies and agencies in the county reported 2,300 more jobs in April than in the same month last year — about a 2 percent increase.

Gains in the trade, transportation and utilities industries boosted job growth in the county — up 1,000 total jobs, 4.9 percent, from the same month last year.

The leisure and hospitality industries also boosted growth in the county, with 700 jobs added, up 4 percent from April 2015.

The professional and business services industries lost a net total of 700 jobs, down 5.3 percent from April last year.

Of the largest cities in the county, Atascadero reported the lowest jobless rate in April, at 3.3 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 4.2 percent in April, with 1,100 of its 26,300 eligible residents counted as unemployed.

Paso Robles reported a rate of 4.4 percent, with 700 of its 16,600 eligible workers unemployed. Arroyo Grande reported a rate of 3.4 percent, with 300 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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