Jobless rate rises on Peninsula

Unemployment was up in Clallam and Jefferson counties last month as 372 North Olympic Peninsula residents joined the labor force, the state Employment Security Department said.

Clallam County unemployment rose from a revised 5.5 percent in October to a preliminary 6.2 percent in November, state officials said.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 4.9 percent in October to a preliminary 5.4 percent last month, according to estimates released Thursday.

Both counties added jobs and job seekers in November while year-over-year employment was down slightly.

Clallam County had 26,705 employed residents and 1,758 unemployed in November. It gained 199 job seekers and 21 jobs from the previous month, Employment Security said.

Jefferson County had 11,722 working in November and 669 seeking work. It added 85 jobs and 67 job seekers.

A person is counted as unemployed if he or she is able to work and has looked for a job within the past four weeks, Employment Security said.

Unemployment rates in November 2017 were 6.3 percent in Clallam County and 5.8 percent in Jefferson County.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate remained at 4.3 percent last month while national unemployment stayed at 3.7 percent, according to Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State employers added 5,100 jobs in November and 103,500 for the year, officials said.

“The pace of hiring softened some in November, but the overall job situation remains relatively strong,” said Paul Turek, economist for the Employment Security Department.

“The availability of jobs is high and hiring plans remain in place.”

King County had the lowest unemployment in the state at 3.5 percent in November, followed by Snohomish (3.8 percent) and San Juan (4.0 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.6 percent, followed by Pacific (6.9 percent) and Wahkiakum (6.9 percent) counties.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] peninsuladailynews.com.

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