Jobless rate climbs back up on Peninsula
By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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Clallam County’s jobless rate jumped from a revised 9.7 percent in December to 11.1 percent in January, while Jefferson County unemployment went from 9.4 to 10.9 percent.
Of the 580 jobs lost in Clallam County from December to January, 440 were service-providing jobs, which include everything expect goods-producing and government.
No sector in Clallam County gained jobs over the month.
Government sectors were flat in both counties.
Jefferson County lost 130 service-providing jobs in January. Twenty manufacturing jobs were added, but Jefferson County lost 20 in natural resources and mining for no net change in goods-producing.
“We typically see a bump in the unemployment rate in January, but we’re certainly not happy with this news,” said Elizabeth Court, regional economist with Employment Security.
Temporary retail workers who are hired for the holiday season tend to leave the workforce in January, while others choose to move or go back to school at the start of a new year, Court said.
“In general, this January number is rather dreary,” Court said, adding that there were “not a lot of bright sports” in any sector.
“The only bright spot you could point to would be the year-over-year, from January 2012 to January 2013: You do see a growth in [total] nonfarm jobs,” she said.
Clallam County added 220 jobs from year to year — there were 21,570 positions in January 2013 — while Jefferson County added 20 jobs for a total of 7,700.
The unemployment picture for both counties was similar in January 2012: It was 11.4 percent in Clallam County and 10.9 percent in Jefferson County.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that Washington added 18,600 jobs in the private sector and 5,500 in government in January.
The preliminary state unemployment rate was 7.5 percent, and the national jobless rate was 7.9 percent, Employment Security said.
County unemployment numbers for February will be released March 26.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: March 12. 2013 5:57PM