Unemployment at 6.2 percent in Clallam, dips to 5.5 percent in Jefferson

Unemployment remained at 6.2 percent in Clallam County and dipped to 5.5 percent in Jefferson County last month as 483 North Olympic Peninsula residents left the labor force in August, state officials said.

Jefferson County’s jobless rate went from a revised 5.6 percent in July to a preliminary 5.5 percent in August, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County had 11,368 working residents and 661 job seekers last month, a loss of 201 from its total workforce in July.

Clallam County had 26,413 working residents and 1,749 seeking work in August, a loss of 282 from its July labor force.

A labor force is defined as the number of people who are employed or those who are available to work and have actively sought work in the past month.

Initial unemployment claims were down in both counties in August, from 169 to 145 in Clallam County and from 62 to 47 in Jefferson County.

Unemployment rates were higher in both Peninsula counties in August 2016, at 7.4 percent in Clallam County and 6.9 percent in Jefferson County.

Despite the gain of 2,000 jobs, the seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate rose from 4.5 percent in July to 4.6 percent in August. Unemployment in the Seattle-Bellevue-Everett area went from 3.5 percent to 3.7 percent in August.

National unemployment went from 4.3 percent in July to 4.4 percent in August, 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.

San Juan County had the state’s lowest estimated unemployment rate at 2.9 percent, followed by Asotin (3.4 percent) and Adams (3.7 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the state’s highest unemployment rate at 9.6 percent, followed by Grays Harbor (6.3 percent) and Wahkiakum (6.3 percent) counties.

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

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