Service-sector growth lowers North Olympic Peninsula unemployment rate in June — from 8.1% to estimated 6.7% in Clallam, 7.9% to estimated 6.3% in Jefferson

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

PORT ANGELES — A spike in leisure and hospitality hiring drove down unemployment on the North Olympic Peninsula last month.

Clallam and Jefferson counties each added 130 nonfarm jobs in June — including a combined 190 in leisure and hospitality — as unemployment dipped below 7 percent in both counties for the first time in recent years, according to state estimates published Tuesday.

Clallam County's estimated unemployment rate fell from a revised 8.1 percent in May to a preliminary 6.7 percent in June, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment fell from a revised 7.9 percent in May to a preliminary 6.3 percent in June, state officials said.

The state unemployment rate dropped from 6.1 percent in May to 5.8 percent in June, while national unemployment went from 6.3 percent to 6.1 percent last month, according to Employment Security and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Clallam County added 210 private-sector jobs in June, including 120 in leisure and hospitality, but lost 80 government positions.

The county gained 60 jobs in trade, transportation and utilities and 40 jobs in natural resources and mining.

Jefferson County, too, netted 130 jobs, including 70 in leisure and hospitality and 20 in both natural resources and mining and trade transportation and utilities.

Public sector unemployment held steady in Jefferson County at last count.

The Clallam County workforce shrank from 26,740 in May to 26,470 in June.

There were 2,170 Clallam County residents who were actively seeking work in May and 1,780 job seekers in June.

Jefferson County had 890 seeking work in May and 710 looking for a job in June.

Unemployment rates do not factor those who commute to other counties or have stopped looking for a job.

San Juan County had the lowest estimated June unemployment at 3.7 percent, while Grays Harbor and Ferry counties tied for the highest at 8.5 percent.

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

Last modified: July 23. 2014 9:00AM
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