More jobs, dip in unemployment on Peninsula

North Olympic Peninsula employers added more than 200 jobs in April as unemployment dipped slightly in Clallam and Jefferson counties, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment fell from a revised 7.8 percent in March to a preliminary 7.2 percent in April, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 6.9 percent in March to a preliminary 6.4 percent in April, according to new estimates.

Employment Security said there were 26,062 employed Clallam County residents last month — up 119 from March — and 2,007 seeking work in April.

A person is counted as unemployed if he or she is able to work and has actively sought work in the past month.

Jefferson County had 11,410 employed residents last month — up 105 from March — and 784 seeking work in April, Employment Security said.

In April 2018, unemployment rates were 6.4 percent in Clallam County and 6.1 percent in Jefferson County.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate went from 4.6 percent in March to 4.7 percent last month despite a gain of 13,500 non-farm jobs.

“It’s good to see the hiring rebound in March continue into April,” Employment Security Economist Paul Turek said in a news release.

“April’s employment gains show the state’s labor market remains strong.”

National unemployment dipped from 3.8 percent in March to 3.6 percent in April, according to Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

King County had the lowest unemployment in the state in April at 2.8 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.0 percent) and Whitman (4.3 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the state’s highest unemployment at 13 percent, followed by Pend Oreille (8.3 percent) and Stevens (8.2 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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