By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News
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Clallam County lost 210 jobs in the first month of the year, 170 of which were in the private sector, as unemployment rose from a revised 9.0 percent in December to a preliminary 9.3 percent in January, Employment Security reported Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Jefferson County shed 200 jobs in January — 150 in the private sector and 50 in government — as the jobless rate climbed from a revised 8.4 percent in December to a preliminary 8.9 percent in January.
Post-holiday job losses in the service sector accounted for the bulk of the declines in both counties, said Jim Vleming, regional economist with Employment Security.
Clallam County added 20 manufacturing jobs in January but lost 190 in service trades.
Jefferson County lost 150 service jobs in January.
Clallam County had 24,570 employed residents and 2,520 looking for work in January, Employment Security said.
Jefferson County had 10,170 employed and 990 residents seeking work, according to the latest estimates.
State unemployment fell from 6.7 to 6.4 percent in January, while national unemployment went from 6.7 to 6.6 percent.
Jobless rates do not factor those who are underemployed or those who have quit looking for work.
Labor forces have shrunk in both North Olympic Peninsula counties between January 2013 and January 2014 — from 27,760 to 27,090 in Clallam County and from 11,660 to 11,160 in Jefferson County.
Unemployment rates were higher in both counties in January 2013, at 10.9 percent in Clallam County and 10.7 percent in Jefferson County.
“It looks like we’re headed in the right direction as far as the unemployment numbers with the drop over the year,” Vleming said.
Employment Security plans to release county-by-county jobless figures for February on March 25.