North Olympic Peninsula unemployment rates dip in May

North Olympic Peninsula employers added nearly 400 jobs in May as Clallam and Jefferson County unemployment rates fell by about one-half of 1 percentage point, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment dipped from a revised 6.8 percent in April to a preliminary 6.2 percent in May, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 6.4 percent in April to a preliminary 5.9 percent last month, according to non-seasonally adjusted estimates.

Statewide unemployment fell from 4.8 percent to 4.7 percent from April to May, while national unemployment dipped from 3.9 percent to 3.8 percent, according to Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

BLS estimated that Washington gained 7,800 jobs in the private sector and 700 jobs in the public sector last month.

“Payroll growth stepped up in May,” Employment Security Economist Paul Turek said in a release. “Gains were widespread across industries with most adding jobs.”

From May 2017 to May 2018, the state gained 90,100 jobs, including 85,100 in the private sector, Employment Security said.

BLS estimates are based on a survey of businesses.

Clallam County had 25,893 working residents in May, up 342 from April, and 1,715 who had actively sought work in the past four weeks.

Jefferson County had 11,259 employed residents, up 44 from April, and 712 seeking work.

King County has the state’s lowest unemployment in May at 3.4 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.6 percent), San Juan (3.8 percent) and Asotin (4.0 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment at 12.0 percent, followed by Stevens (7.0 percent), Pacific (6.8 percent) and Pend Oreille (6.6 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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