SLO County unemployment drops amid reopening

San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate dropped modestly in May, as small groups of people went back to work amid the pandemic, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

While the number of unemployed continues to fall, the economic outlook remains dire, with unemployment numbers exceeding some past recessions. Meanwhile, the county continues to loosen restrictions on local businesses.

The county’s unemployment rate dropped to 12.7 percent in May, from a revised 14 percent in April. In May 2019, the jobless rate was 2.4 percent.

In San Luis Obispo County in May, 500 people went back to work in the food service portion of the hospitality industry, or an increase of 7.2 percent. At the same time, under the county’s temporary restriction on hotel occupancy rates, 100 people lost jobs at hotels in May, or 4.2 percent.

From May 2019 through May 2020, there was a loss of 9,500 jobs in the hospitality industry in SLO County.

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