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The unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in California since the beginning of the pandemic

Posted at 8:46 AM, Dec 18, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-18 11:46:34-05

The unemployment rate is the lowest it's been in California since the beginning of the pandemic. San Luis Obispo County is no exception having dropped from an unemployment rate of 5.4 percent in November 2020 to 3.6 percent in November 2021 and local businesses say they are not having trouble hiring.

The pandemic hit the economy hard and local businesses felt the impact, but according to new data, the unemployment rate in San Luis Obispo is significantly lower than it was one year ago.

"We never had to deal with unemployment which was really nice but I did see a lot of that with relatives I had struggling with unemployment," Shannon Hurley, Battle Axe Throwing Instructor.

Shannon Hurley says Battle Axe created new jobs in San Luis Obispo, helping the economy.

"People kept putting in applications and they all got reviewed and stuff like that so it wasn't like we had a short of people or anything," said Hurley.

After months of high unemployment numbers during the pandemic, Hurley says things are looking up.

"It's almost like it's improving now because we went through that downturn," said Hurley.

Most business owners in downtown San Luis Obispo tell us they've been able to avoid the problems associated with the worker shortage, but they are happy to hear that unemployment is at a now low as they believe it will bring more money into the local economy.

"We haven't really noticed much of a shortage. We have probably had the same staff, like the same people for a couple of years now," Emma Walker, Blackwater Manager.

Leading to no trouble hiring around the holidays. Walker says most businesses downtown aren't struggling to find workers this holiday season.

"Downtown not so much, but my parents are also business owners here, they own the grocery outlet here, and they definitely have had a lot of trouble hiring just because their staff is a lot bigger than ours is," said Walker.

Walker says the small staff size contributed to the ease of hiring and retaining workers.

"Our staff is maybe 10 people so it's easy for us to keep us staffed," Walker.

The Central Coast unemployment rate is also lower in Santa Barbara County down from 5.7 percent one year ago to 3.9 percent in November 2020.