San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate more than tripled in April as the region lost approximately 1,800 jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.
Layoffs prompted by California’s shelter at home order have driven the county’s unemployment rate up to 13.7 percent in April, from 3.8 percent in March. In April 2019, the jobless rate was 2.6 percent.
Over the past month, significant job losses were seen in the leisure and hospitality services sector which lost 9,900 jobs. Recently, the county passed an executive order limiting hotel occupancy to 50 percent.
During the shelter at home order, most local hotels occupancy rates fell to below 20 percent. However, several coastal community hotels have had occupancy rates of over 50 percent.
And while some local residence fear out-of-town visitors will bring higher numbers of coronavirus infections, Pismo Beach has had only had one confirmed coronavirus case in the past 30 days. During the pandemic, the county’s greatest number of confirmed cases, approximately 70 percent, have occurred in inland areas of the North County.
In April, 1,900 county residents lost jobs in the professional and businesses services sector, many of whom had worked at Mind and Body, which laid off more than 750 employees.
The third most impacted employment sector, health and education services, lost 1,800 jobs as many medical procedures were delayed and childcare facilities were closed in April.
San Luis Obispo County is ranked twelfth out of 58 California counties for lower numbers of unemployed workers. SLO County’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average of 14.4 percent and the state’s 16.1 percent rate.
In California, Marin County is ranked number one with an unemployment rate of 11.1 percent and Imperial County comes in on the bottom with an unemployment rate of 28 percent.