Employment rates continue to improve in SLO County


San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate dropped again in September as local governments gained approximately 1,700 jobs, the state Employment Development Department reported last week.

In September, SLO County’s unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent. That is still far above pre-coronavirus levels, but a sign the county’s economy is improving.

Layoffs prompted by California’s shelter at home order drove the county’s unemployment rate from 3.8 percent in March to 13.7 percent in April. As people have gone back to work, the rate has consistently dropped.

In September, the largest gains were reported in retail trade and local government, likely spurred by teachers returning to work. The largest declines were in the lodging industry, which reported a loss of 300 jobs during a time the area was inundated with smoke from several wildfires.

San Luis Obispo County is ranked tenth out of 58 California counties for lower numbers of unemployed workers. SLO County’s unemployment rate is lower than the national average of 7.7 percent and the state’s 10.8 percent rate.

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