Peninsula unemployment rate drops

Peninsula Daily News

North Olympic Peninsula unemployment dipped slightly in October as more workers joined the Clallam and Jefferson County labor forces, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment went from a revised 5.9 percent in September to a preliminary 5.6 percent in October, the state Employment Security Department said Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 5.6 percent in September to a preliminary 5.4 percent last month, officials said.

Clallam County had 26,957 employed residents and 1,593 looking for work in October. Its labor force grew from 28,493 to 28,550 over the month, Employment Security said.

Jefferson County had 11,660 working citizens and 667 seeking work in October. Its labor force grew from 12,306 to 12,327 last month, officials said.

Unemployment rates were higher in both counties a year ago, at 7.3 percent in Clallam County and 7.2 percent in Jefferson County

Meanwhile, the seasonally adjusted statewide employment rate went from 4.6 percent in September to 4.5 percent in October. The state gained 105,800 jobs over the year, including 91,000 private-sector positions.

“Washington’s economy keeps growing,” said Paul Turek, an Employment Security economist.

“The demand for workers remains strong with ample opportunity for employment.”

National unemployment went from 4.2 percent to 4.1 percent in October, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted because the sample size is too small to accommodate the additional analysis, Employment Security officials said.

Asotin County had the state’s lowest estimated unemployment rate in October at 3.3 percent, followed by San Juan (3.5 percent) and Chelan (3.6 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, followed by Wahkiakum (6.3 percent) and Pacific (6.1 percent) counties.