Unemployment below 6 percent on Peninsula

Clallam County employers added more than 300 jobs last month as unemployment fell from 6.2 percent in August to 5.9 percent in September, state officials said.

Jefferson County’s jobless rate rose from 5.5 percent to 5.7 percent despite a gain of nearly 100 non-farm jobs, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jobless rates in both counties remained below September 2016 levels. Unemployment was 7.3 percent in Clallam County and 7.1 percent in Jefferson County 13 months ago.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate remained at 4.6 percent despite the gain of 13,800 jobs.

“Washington’s economy is in great shape,” said Paul Turek, an economist with Employment Security, in a news release.

“Businesses continue to add jobs and more people are joining the labor force.”

Washington employers added 76,100 jobs between September 2016 and September 2017.

The seasonally adjusted national unemployment rate dropped from 4.4 percent in August to 4.2 percent in September. Employment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted.

Clallam County had 26,781 working residents and 1,686 actively seeking work in September.

It had 344 more working residents and 48 fewer job seekers from August to September.

Jefferson County had 11,495 working citizens and 690 seeking work in September.

It had 89 more working residents and 31 more job seekers from August to September.

Chelan County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate at 3.4 percent, followed by San Juan (3.5 percent), Asotin (3.6 percent) and Adams (3.7 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.9 percent, followed by Wahkiakum (6.3 percent), Grays Harbor (6.1 percent) and Pacific (6.0 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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