Biz Buzz: SLO County’s unemployment rate remains above 10 percent

San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate in February was pegged at 10.2 percent, the second straight month it surpassed the 10 percent mark, according to state data.

In January, the county unemployment rate hit 10.7 percent, the highest level since the state government began tracking unemployment data. In December, the state recorded a 9.8 percent unemployment rate for the county.

In February last year, the county’s unemployment rate was 8.1 percent — almost 26 percent lower than this year.

While county joblessness has risen since then, the 10.2 percent rate is still below that of the statewide 12.5 percent but above the national rate of 9.7 percent in February.

A total of 4,900 jobs in all industries were lost from February 2009 to this year, with mining, logging and construction, professional and business services, and trade, transportation and utilities taking the biggest hits.

Even so, San Luis Obispo County continues to have one of the lowest unemployment rates in California, ranking seventh of the 58 counties.

Mono County, east of the Sierra Nevada, had the lowest rate in February at 7.8 percent, while Colusa County, located in the Central Valley, had the highest at 27.6 percent.

— Julie Lynem

Event to promote San Miguel firms

San Miguel businesses will be highlighted in an April 23 business forum presented by the Economic Development Committee of the San Miguel Resource Connection and Heritage Oaks Bank.

The showcase will take place from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the parish community center behind Mission San Miguel at 775 Mission St. The event will include prizes, networking and refreshments.

Speakers include county Supervisor Frank Mecham, Col. Barbara Nuismer of Camp Roberts, the Rev. Larry Gosselin of Mission San Miguel, Kelly Work of Work Ranch, developer Brett Butterfield, Sara Celedon, speaking about the proposed San Miguel Chamber of Commerce, and Healthy Hornets, a student group of Lillian Larsen School.

For details, contact Gwen Severson at 591-5208 or gwenseverson@gmail.com or visit www.DiscoverSanMiguel.com.

— Julia Hickey

Osos chamber to hold business fair

The Los Osos/Baywood Park Chamber of Commerce will hold a business showcase and restaurant sampler from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. April 23 at the South Bay Community Center.

The theme for the event, which is free to the public, is “Catch the Wave: Business is Up in Los Osos.”

To sign up as an exhibitor, contact the chamber at 528-4884.

— Julia Hickey