Unemployment rate remains steady on Peninsula

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

Clallam and Jefferson counties shed a combined 460 jobs last month — mostly in the service sectors — but saw little change in their unemployment rates, according to the latest state estimates.

Clallam County lost 340 jobs in November, including 220 service-producing jobs, as its unemployment rate rose from a revised 8.3 percent in October to a preliminary 8.5 percent in November, the state Employment Security Department reported Monday.

All but 20 of those lost jobs were in the private sector.

The Jefferson County unemployment rate remained at 8.2 percent in November despite the loss of 120 jobs. Service trades accounted for 110 jobs lost in Jefferson County.

Unemployment rates can differ from trends in the number of jobs gained or lost because of changes in the size of the labor force and because of people who commute to other counties for work, regional labor economist Jim Vleming has said.

Jobless rates do not account for those who have stopped looking for work.

Last month, there were 25,130 Clallam County residents with a job and 2,350 seeking work, Employment Security said.

Jefferson County had 10,540 residents with a job and 940 looking for work.

The Peninsula unemployment rates were slightly higher in November 2012 than they were last month.

Unemployment was 9.1 percent in Clallam County and 8.7 percent in Jefferson County 13 months ago.

November estimates for initial, continued and exhausted unemployment claims were not published with the jobless report released Monday.

Meanwhile, the statewide jobless rate fell from 7 percent in October to 6.8 percent in November, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The national jobless rate dropped from 7.3 percent in October to 7 percent last month.

Across the state, Grays Harbor County had the highest November unemployment rate in the state at 11.3 percent.

Whitman County in Southeast Washington had the lowest unemployment among the state’s 39 counties at 4.7 percent.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsula
dailynews.com.

Last modified: December 23. 2013 6:42PM
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