Peninsula jobless rate dips slightly

Unemployment was down slightly across the North Olympic Peninsula, the state and the nation in July, the state Employment Security Department said.

Clallam County’s estimated unemployment rate fell from a revised 6.0 percent in June to a preliminary 5.7 percent last month, Employment Security said Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment dropped from a revised 5.8 percent in June to a preliminary 5.3 percent in July, officials said.

The statewide unemployment rate went from 4.7 percent to 4.6 percent last month.

National unemployment fell from 4.0 percent to 3.9 percent, according to Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State employers added 12,400 jobs in July, including 11,900 private sector positions, Employment Security said.

The 4.6 percent state unemployment rate matched a historical low, officials said.

“The state continues to feel the positive impact its economy is having on employment,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department.

“Benchmark revisions to the data showed that job growth has accelerated with the beginning of the calendar year.”

Clallam County had 26,200 employed citizens and 1,598 actively seeking work in July.

Jefferson County had 11,421 working residents and 643 seeking work.

Both counties had more people working and fewer seeking work in July.

In July 2017, the unemployment rates in Clallam and Jefferson counties were 6.5 percent and 5.8 percent, respectively.

Chelan County had the state’s lowest unemployment in July at 3.0 percent, followed by San Juan (3.1 percent) and King (3.6 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment at 9.6 percent, followed by Pend Oreille (6.4 percent), Stevens (6.0 percent) and Grays Harbor (6.0 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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