More join labor force on Peninsula

Nearly 200 North Olympic Peninsula residents joined the labor force in June as Clallam and Jefferson county unemployment rates each dipped by one tenth of 1 percentage point, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment went from a revised 6.2 percent in May to a preliminary 6.1 percent in June, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County’s jobless rate fell from a revised 5.9 percent in May to a preliminary 5.8 percent last month, officials said.

The seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate held steady at 4.7 percent in June despite the gain of 4,100 non-farm jobs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

“Payroll growth slowed a bit in June compared with last May,” said Paul Turek, a state economist.

“What’s positive is that the consecutive string of jobs added per month continues and is scheduled to reach six years next month.”

National unemployment rose from 3.8 percent in May to 4.0 percent in June, Employment Security said.

Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted because the sample size is too small to accommodate the additional analysis.

Clallam County had 26,013 working residents in June — up 142 from May — and 1,683 who were unemployed and had actively sought work in the past month, according to state estimates. Clallam County added 122 to its labor force in June.

Jefferson County had 11,316 employed citizens in June — up 86 from May — and 696 job seekers. Jefferson County’s labor force grew by 76 last month.

In June 2017, unemployment rates were 6.4 percent in Clallam County and 5.5 percent in Jefferson County.

San Juan County had the state’s lowest unemployment last month at 3.5 percent, followed by Chelan (3.7 percent) and King (3.7 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment at 10.3 percent, followed by Pend Oreille (6.6 percent) and Pacific (6.4 percent) counties.

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

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