County jobless rate improves

San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate fell to 9 percent in May, down from 9.3 percent in April and 9.6 percent a year ago, according to the latest data from the California Employment Development Department. The data are not seasonally adjusted.

The rate compares with an unadjusted May unemployment rate of 11.4 percent in California and 8.7 percent for the nation.

In May, there were 12,300 people unemployed out of a total civilian labor force of 137,400 in San Luis Obispo County, the state reported.

The leisure and hospitality industry grew by 500 jobs compared with May of 2010; the educational and health services industry added 400 jobs.

The mining, logging and construction industry and the trade, transportation and utilities industry each saw a gain of 200 jobs. Three industries — information, financial activities and “other” services — each gained 100 jobs.

Losses included 500 farm jobs, 100 manufacturing jobs and 100 government jobs.

The county’s May unemployment rate ranked seventh of California’s 58 counties. Marin County had the lowest rate of unemployment at 7.4 percent, and Imperial County had the highest at 27.7 percent.

State records dating to 1990 show that San Luis Obispo County had an unemployment rate as low 3 percent in May 1999 and as high as 10.7 percent in July 2010.