With each month that passes, unemployment rates in Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties continue to head toward pre-pandemic levels—but both counties still have a ways to go.
The California Labor Market Information Division released preliminary data for August on Sept. 18, according to the Workforce Development Board of Santa Barbara County. August’s unemployment rate in Santa Barbara County dropped to 8 percent, as compared with July’s rate of 10.3 percent.
GRAPH COURTESY OF WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT BOARD OF SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
BACK TO WORK Santa Barbara County unemployment rates dropped from July to August.
July’s rate has been adjusted since Aug. 27, when New Times reported
it at 10 percent. California initially reports employment numbers based on preliminary data, often revising the information later. Santa Barbara County’s preliminary unemployment rate for August, 8 percent, is subject to change.
According to California Employment Development Department data, at this time last year, Santa Barbara County’s unemployment rate sat around 3 percent.
August marks the largest month-to-month drop in the unemployment rate since the start of the pandemic, when Santa Barbara County’s jobless residents spiked from 5.7 percent in March to 13.9 percent in April.
Similarly in San Luis Obispo County, the unemployment rate
continues to decrease from its pandemic-related high.
The rate spiked from 3.8 percent in March to 14 percent in April. Since then, it has consistently dropped about 1 to 1.5 percent each month, similar to Santa Barbara County. Return to the labor force ramped up in August and SLO County’s unemployment rate dropped down to 7.8 percent, a 2.2 percent decrease from July. SLO County’s unemployment rate was 3 percent in August 2019 and 2.5 percent in September 2019. ∆