Unemployment claims jump in California, SLO County


More than 180,000 unemployment claims were filed in California for the week ending March 21, an unprecedented gain over two weeks earlier, according to the state.

During the past few months, unemployed Californians sent in an average of 41,000 unemployment claims to the state’s Employment Development Department. Then, on the week ending March 14, Californians filed 57,606 unemployment claims, followed a week later by 180,809 jobless claims.

The unemployment rate in February in San Luis Obispo County was 3.0 percent, reflecting 1,000 jobs gained in the hospitality industry over January.

The shelter in place orders initiated to stop the spread of the coronavirus, have led to the large spike in jobless claims.

Major sectors of the San Luis Obispo County economy have been hit hard. Hospitality and travel businesses such as hotels, restaurants and airlines, have been forced to lay off large numbers of people.

Business owners throughout the county have voiced concerns that they may not be able to bounce back financially after the shelter at home order is lifted.

Nationally, a record setting 3,283,000 people filed for unemployment during the week ending March 21, an increase  of 3,001,000 from the week before.

Financial analysts say these numbers are likely to climb as the economic chaos from the coronavirus spreads throughout the country.