Peninsula sees slight rise in unemployment numbers

Unemployment inched up in Clallam and Jefferson counties in January but remained below January 2016 levels, state officials said.

Clallam County’s estimated jobless rate rose from a revised 8.0 percent in December to a preliminary 8.7 percent in January, the state Employment Secretary Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 7.2 percent in December to a preliminary 7.7 percent in January, according to the latest estimates.

Unemployment rates in January 2016 were 9.2 percent in Clallam County and 7.9 percent in Jefferson County.

In January 2017, Clallam County had 25,507 employed residents and 2,425 looking for a job. The Clallam County labor force held steady at 27,932.

Jefferson County had 10,810 employed residents and 898 seeking work in January, according to state estimates. Jefferson County added 29 citizens to its now-11,708-member labor force in January.

Employment Security defines a labor force as the number of people who are employed or those who are available to work and have actively sought work in the past month.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate remained at 5.1 percent in January despite the loss of 7,200 nonfarm jobs.

National unemployment went from 4.7 percent to 4.8 percent in January, according to Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Over the year, state employers added 84,600 jobs, including 73,800 in the private sector, and saw its jobless rate dip from 5.6 percent to 5.1 percent.

In January 2017, King County had the lowest unemployment among the 39 counties at 3.8 percent, followed by Snohomish (4.2 percent), Asotin (5.6 percent) and Whitman (5.6 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment at 12.5 percent, followed by Yakima (11.1 percent), Adams (10.8 percent), Franklin (10.5 percent) and Grant (10.5 percent) counties.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at rollikainen@peninsula dailynews.com.