State officials: Clallam, Jefferson unemployment dips

PORT ANGELES — Nearly 200 North Olympic Peninsula residents found jobs last month as Clallam and Jefferson County unemployment continued on a slow-but-steady downturn, state officials said.

Clallam County’s estimated unemployment rate fell from a revised 6.9 percent in April to a preliminary 6.5 percent in May, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment dipped from a revised 6.1 percent in April to a preliminary 5.9 percent in May.

Throughout the year, unemployment rates have fallen from 8.0 percent in Clallam County and 7.2 percent in Jefferson County.

Clallam County had 25,727 employed residents in May, up from 25,603 in April, Employment Security said.

There were 152 initial unemployment claims in Clallam County in May as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, down from 253 initial claims in April.

Jefferson County had 11,047 employed residents in May, up from 10,981 from April.

There were 39 initial unemployment claims in Jefferson County, down from 51 claims in April.

Meanwhile, the state gained 2,000 jobs in May as the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell from 4.6 percent to 4.5 percent, Employment Security said.

Throughout the year, the state added an estimated 80,500 jobs, including 66,400 jobs in the private sector, officials said.

National unemployment went from 4.4 percent to 4.3 percent from April to May, 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 said.

King County had the state’s lowest jobless rate in May at 3.1 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.5 percent), San Juan (3.7 percent) and Asotin (3.9 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment rate in May at 9.7 percent. Grays Harbor, Pacific, Pend Oreille, Stevens and Wahkiakum counties tied for the second-highest unemployment at 6.9 percent.

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

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