September 23, 2023
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Region’s unemployment rate grew in June


Unemployment rates in the tri-county region crept back up in June, as the growth in jobs wasn’t enough to keep pace with an increase in people looking for work.

The combined unemployment rate across Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties was 6.2% in June, up from 5.6% in May, according to data released July 16 by the California Employment Development Department.

Statewide, the unemployment rate stayed flat, at 7.7% in both May and June. Unemployment is far below the early-pandemic figures from June 2020, when the statewide rate was 14.1%

Ventura County’s unemployment rate was 6.4% in June, up from 5.8% in May. In Santa Barbara County, the rate went from 5.4% in May to 5.9% in June, and in San Luis Obispo County, it climbed from 5.2% in May to 5.8% in June.

The region saw modest growth in jobs during the month: Santa Barbara County added 1,000 jobs and San Luis Obispo County added 500, while employment in Ventura County dropped by 400, for an overall increase in jobs of 0.02%.

The unemployment rate still grew in all three counties because more people are looking for work. The workforce grew by 0.5% in one month in Ventura County, by 1% in Santa Barbara County, and by 1.1% in San Luis Obispo County.

The same trend held statewide, where the economy added 73,500 nonfarm payroll jobs while the unemployment rate stayed the same. The state initially released a 7.9% unemployment figure for May, but revised it down to 7.7% when it released its data for June.

California’s biggest job growth was in the leisure and hospitality industry, which added 44,400 jobs between May and June. The biggest job losses were in construction, which had 3,000 fewer jobs in June than the month before.