Unemployment down in Clallam, flat in Jefferson
By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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The state Employment Security Department reported the figures Tuesday.
Regional labor economist Jim Vleming said the recovery “hasn’t gone as fast as people would like, but we’re going in the right direction.”
Urban vs. rural
The North Olympic Peninsula continues to lag behind the Seattle metropolitan area, which boasts a 4.8 percent jobless rate, compared with 7.2 percent a year ago.
“That’s kind of the difference we have between the rural and urban,” Vleming said.
“Rural areas are the last to get jump-started again, and unfortunately, we dug a pretty big hole with the recession.
“It’s a slow process.”
The unemployment rates, which don’t factor in those who have stopped looking for work, were about the same on the Peninsula in July 2012.
Clallam County joblessness was 9.5 percent — and Jefferson County’s was 8.7 percent — 13 months ago.
Meanwhile, statewide unemployment went from 6.8 percent to 6.9 percent last month, and national unemployment went from 7.6 percent to 7.4 percent, Employment Security said.
Last month’s job growth in Clallam County largely was driven by the addition of 150 jobs in goods producing, which Employment Security defines as natural resources and mining and manufacturing.
The county also added 40 service-providing jobs, while the number of local, state and federal government positions was unchanged.
Jefferson County added 40 jobs in the private sector but lost 60 in government.
The North Olympic Peninsula continues to fare better than its neighbors to the south, with Grays Harbor reporting an 11.7 percent jobless rate and Mason County unemployment at 9.9 percent in July.
Ferry County in northwest Washington had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 11.9 percent.
San Juan County had the lowest among the 39 counties at 4.9 percent.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at email@example.com.
Last modified: August 20. 2013 4:52PM