Posted: Jul 22, 2013 4:11 PM by April Hansen, KSBY News
Updated: Jul 22, 2013 6:49 PM
Unemployment rates are up on the Central Coast.
San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara County's unemployment numbers rose in June.
San Luis Obispo County's unemployment rate is 6.4%, and it's 6.3% in Santa Barbara County.
The Director of the Economic Development Commission for Santa Maria says the city's unemployment rate is at 10%, which is near California's unemployment rate of 10.6%.
The Santa Barbara County Workforce Resource Center in Santa Maria helps people who are unemployed build their resume and search for jobs in the community.
"I know this is a good resource for me to find a job as soon as possible," said Maria Lopez.
If you're on the job hunt in Santa Maria, you've come to the right place.
For Maria Lopez, her search just started.
"This will be my first experience because I worked for so long at the previous job at Macy's, so this will be my first experience to go through this," said Lopez.
She's not alone.
Based on state data, approximately 15,000 people are out of work in Santa Barbara County alone.
"It's still struggling a little bit. It's improving, but it's fragile," said Dave Cross, Director of Santa Maria's Economic Development Commission.
Cross says the local economy is trying to bounce back.
A new movie theatre is almost complete and a Walmart Neighborhood Market just recently opened its doors.
"We are seeing some projects break through," said Cross.
But in order to boost job numbers, more businesses need to find a home in the city.
"When we have a new business coming in or interested we give a heads up to the Santa Barbara County Workforce Resource Center so they can connect them with employees," said Cross.
And give job seekers like Maria Lopez the resources she needs to land a job.
Cross says because there is such a high unemployment rate, they want to make sure the city's labor force is trained for the jobs available, so the Economic Develop Commission is working with Allan Hancock College and the resource center to provide more opportunities for the unemployed.
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