Peninsula Daily News
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Clallam County’s jobless rate rose to 11.2 percent while Jefferson County’s went to 11.1 percent in February, according to preliminary estimates that the state Employment Security Department released Tuesday.
Although the counties added jobs, the unemployment rates crept up because of a small change in the civilian workforce, said Elizabeth Court, regional economist for Employment Security.
Clallam County added 50 service-providing jobs in February but lost 20 in goods-producing for a net gain of 30 jobs.
There were 24,830 Clallam County residents working last month and 3,130 trying to find a job.
Clallam County unemployment was 11.5 percent one year ago.
Jefferson County added 50 service jobs but shed 40 in goods-producing in February for a net gain of 10 jobs.
There were 10,430 Jefferson County residents employed and 1,310 active job-seekers.
Jefferson County unemployment was 11.1 percent in February of 2011, 2012 and 2013, Court said.
First-time unemployment claims dropped in both counties from January to February: from 530 to 371 in Clallam County and from 193 to 141 in Jefferson County.
Continued unemployment claims fell from 999 to 865 in Clallam County and from 376 to 344 in Jefferson County.
State unemployment held steady at 7.5 percent last month, while the national unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent, Employment Security said.
King County had the state’s lowest unemployment at 5.6 percent last month.
Ferry County in northeast Washington had the highest jobless rate at 15.1 percent.