By KAREN VELIE
While San Luis Obispo County’s unemployment rate continues to decline, the number of residents in the workforce has not rebounded to pre-pandemic levels.
Prior to the pandemic, in Jan. 2020, there were 141,300 people in the SLO County workforce with 136,900 employed, according to the state. Last month, there were 132,600 people in the workforce and 127,000 employed.
There were nearly 2,200 more people in SLO County with a paycheck at the end of last month than there was a month earlier. However, there are still 9,900 fewer residents employed than prior to the pandemic.
SLO County’s unemployment rate went from 4.5 percent in September to 4.3 percent in October, the state Employment Development Department reported Friday. In Oct. 2020, the jobless rate was 6.4 percent.
The largest number of people were hired in health and education services with 700 new jobs. In addition, in October the number of people working in manufacturing increased by 200.
However, 900 people employed in state education lost their jobs last month.
San Luis Obispo County is ranked seventh out of 58 California counties for lower numbers of unemployed workers. SLO County’s unemployment rate is tied with the national average of 4.3 percent and lower than the state’s 6.1 percent rate.