Peninsula loses jobs in January

North Olympic Peninsula employers shed more than 800 jobs in January as Clallam and Jefferson County unemployment rates each rose by 1 percentage point to begin the new year, state officials said.

Clallam County’s jobless rate went from a revised 7.1 percent in December to a preliminary 8.1 percent in January, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 6.3 percent in December to a preliminary 7.3 percent in January, Employment Security said.

Estimates for February will be announced March 27.

Clallam County had 25,493 working citizens in January — down 503 from December — and 2,242 unemployed residents, officials said.

A person is counted as unemployed if he or she is available to work and has sought work in the past four weeks.

Jefferson County had 11,048 employed citizens — down 305 from December — and 869 job seekers in January, officials said.

An estimated 442 left the two-county labor force in January.

Unemployment rates in January 2017 were 8.3 percent in Clallam County and 7.3 percent in Jefferson County.

State figures

Meanwhile, state unemployment held steady at 4.7 percent in January as Washington employers added 6,800 jobs.

The state gained 91,900 jobs between January 2017 and January 2018, including 82,600 private-sector positions.

“Unemployment remains extremely low and wage growth looks to be accelerating,” Employment Security labor economist Paul Turek said in a news release.

The seasonally-adjusted national unemployment remained at 4.1 percent in January, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted.

King County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in January at 4.2 percent, followed by Snohomish (4.7 percent), Whitman (4.9 percent), Asotin (5.4 percent) and San Juan (5.4 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment at 15.9 percent, followed by Adams (10.0 percent), Okanogan (9.7 percent) and Grant (9.6 percent) counties.

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

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