February 25, 2024
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Region’s unemployment rate dips back below 3%


The unemployment rate across all three counties along the Central Coast dipped in the month of December, according to data released on Jan. 20 by the California Employment Development Department.

Combined, the tri-county area had an unemployment rate of 2.9% in the month of December, down from 3.2% in the month of November.

It is the first time since the unemployment rate dipped below 3% since August.

San Luis Obispo County continues to post the region’s lowest unemployment rate, currently sitting at 2.4%, with the rate dropping 0.4% from November to December.

In Santa Barbara County, the unemployment rate declined slightly, from 3.2% in November to 3.1% in December.

Ventura County saw the sharpest decline, as the unemployment rate in December was at 3.2% compared to 3.7% in November.

Farming jobs continued to be cut across all three counties in December, as the winter months bring a decline in the agricultural industry.

Across all three counties, 6,400 farm jobs were cut in December, most of those losses coming from Santa Barbara County with 5,200 job cuts.

Ventura was the only county to add non-farm jobs during the month of December, overall adding 200 jobs, 500 of which were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector.

In December, California added 16,200 nonfarm jobs – the 15th consecutive month of job growth, the Employment Development Department said in its Dec. 16 news release.

California’s unemployment rate remained flat, however, staying at 4.1% in December, the news release said.

Also, 9 of California’s 11 industry sectors gained jobs in December, with education and health services adding 8,200 jobs, the most of any sector.

The construction industry also added 7,500 jobs month-over-month while leisure and hospitality services added 5,300.

Trade, transportation and utilities lost the most jobs again, with a decline of 11,200 from November to December.