San Luis Obispo County’s jobless rate is beginning to decrease, after reaching a yearly high in July, according to the latest preliminary data released by California’s Employment Development Department (EDD), which tracks and documents unemployment rates in California.
In September, the unemployment rate dropped to 9.3 percent, which is 0.6 percent less than the numbers reported for the previous month. The decrease may not seem to be a very big, but since July, approximately 3,500 people have been hired, according to recent reports.With the increase of jobs, San Luis Obispo County now has the eighth-lowest unemployment rate out of all California’s counties.
“We ran a survey and found that there is a demand for jobs in (San Luis Obispo), and we are going to have a local job fair at the beginning of next year,” Career Services program coordinator Carole Moore said.
The Economic Strategy Local Job Fair Survey polled local businesses on their advertising methods, how they recruit and other business practices. The survey showed that there is a high demand for technology jobs in San Luis Obispo County.
According to data, local businesses are looking for employees that range from students looking for an internship, which Moore said many companies are looking for unpaid interns, to recent graduates. The survey also shows business graduates are the most hired by local businesses.
Overall, opening jobs in San Luis Obispo will help California’s overall unemployment rates, which have steadily risen since mid 2006, with a slight drop this year. Currently, California’s jobless rate is 11.9 percent for September, while the national rate was 9.1 percent.
Although San Luis Obispo is not below the national rate, the county has been able to create new jobs with the opening of new businesses such as Target.
When Target opened, it offered 240 new job openings which helped unemployment rates drop in San Luis Obispo County, according to a Target representative.
San Luis Obispo County also helped the steady job growth increase more in the following month by adding 1,100 new workers to the workforce in sectors other than farming.
These trends in unemployment are a good sign for Cal Poly graduates because many local businesses look to hire graduates to fill such positions.
Companies such as financial adviser Deloitte are regulars at Cal Poly career fairs recruiting graduates.
“I am personally a Cal Poly graduate, and I work with other alumni,” Chris Deaner, senior consultant at Deloitte, said. “Cal Poly graduates a high demand, and we know it. We love the work ethic and experience Poly graduates have.”
Although the job market is increasing — every city in the county is seeing a drop in unemployment — there are still more than 12,000 people unemployed in San Luis Obispo County.
Oceano’s unemployment rate is at a county high of 17.3 percent, but is down from 17.9 percent in August, while Grover Beach holds the county’s lowest rate at 9.2 percent, according to EDD.
Other cities in the county include: Nipomo at 12.4 percent and Pismo Beach and Arroyo Grande both at 9.6 percent.
These numbers are only preliminary at this point and are not seasonally adjusted, but they do show that San Luis Obispo County is creating more jobs and decreasing the unemployment rate.
Students and locals are filling up positions as soon as they open up.
Materials Engineering junior Philip Streeter started looking for a job when school started in September and was only recently employed at Urban Outfitters.
“It’s been hard to find a job as a student,” he said. “My schedule doesn’t allow much time for me to work. Most part-time positions were filled shortly after school started, but I think since the holidays are around the corner, more job openings became available.”
The unemployment rate has been a roller-coaster ride all year. With hopes of seasonal jobs opening up, San Luis Obispo residents may see this gradual decline continue.