Unemployment in SLO County continues to drop


San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate continues to decline — from a high of 14 percent in April to 11.5 percent in June, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday.

The county’s unemployment rate dropped to 11.5 percent in June, from a revised 12.9 percent in May. In June 2019, the jobless rate was 3 percent.

In June, 3,100 county residents went back to work as the state allowed businesses to open amid the coronavirus. Even so, there were 21,200 fewer people working in SLO County in June 2020 than there were in June 2019.

Residents employed in the hospitality industry were the most impacted by the coronavirus shutdowns. In June 2020, there were 3,600 fewer people employed in county restaurants and bars than in June 2019. At the same time, 1,700 fewer people worked in the lodging industry.

A number of government employees have also lost their jobs. There are 1,900 fewer county employees working for state education services in June 2020 than there were in June 2019.

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 11.2 percent and the state’s 15.1 percent rate.

In California, Lassen County is ranked number one with an unemployment rate of 9.5 percent and Imperial County comes in on the bottom with an unemployment rate of 27.3 percent. Lassen County was one of the first counties in California to reopen amid the pandemic while Imperial County has the highest coronavirus death rate in California.

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