Unemployment climbed by nearly 1 percentage point on the North Olympic Peninsula last month but remained lower than it was a year ago, the state Employment Security Department reported.
Clallam County unemployment rose from a revised 7.4 percent in November to a preliminary 8.3 percent in December, according to the latest estimates released Tuesday.
Jefferson County’s jobless rate went from a revised 6.5 percent in November to a preliminary 7.3 percent last month, Employment Security said.
In December 2014, unemployment was 9.4 percent in Clallam County and 9.0 percent in Jefferson County.
Clallam County had 24,717 residents holding a job compared to 2,225 seeking work last month.
Jefferson County had 10,228 employed and 806 looking for a job in December.
Jobless rates do not account for those who have quit looking for a job or commute to other counties.
Labor force growth
The labor forces in both counties grew slightly from November to December — from 26,869 to 26,942 in Clallam County and from 10,927 to 11,034 in Jefferson County.
The seasonally adjusted statewide unemployment rate rose from 5.3 percent in November to 5.5 percent in December, Employment Security said.
Statewide unemployment was 6.3 percent in December 2014.
The state’s private sector gained 58,600 jobs and added an estimated 9,400 jobs in the public sector over the year, Employment Security said.
National unemployment remained at 5.0 percent last month, down from 5.6 percent in December 2014, 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.
King and Whitman counties tied for the lowest unemployment in the state at 4.5 percent in December; Ferry County had the highest unemployment at 11.2 percent, Employment Security said.
________Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at [email protected]