Local employers added more than 450 jobs in May as Clallam and Jefferson county jobless rates dipped by nearly 1 percentage point last month, according to state officials.
Clallam County added 359 jobs while its unemployment rate fell from a revised 7.1 percent in April to a preliminary 6.2 percent in May, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.
Jefferson County added 98 jobs as unemployment went from a revised 6.4 percent in April to a preliminary 5.6 percent last month, Employment Security said.
The statewide unemployment rate remained at 4.7 percent and the U.S. jobless rate held steady at 3.6 percent, according to Employment Security and the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
State employers added 9,600 jobs in May and 82,300 for the year.
“The number of jobs the state’s employers generated in May is not as significant as the two previous months,” said Paul Turek, Employment Security’s state economist.
“However, this month’s increase in employment is a good solid number and is greater than what occurred at this time last year.”
The state unemployment rate in May 2018 was 4.5 percent.
Clallam and Jefferson counties each had more people working, fewer job-seekers and fewer people who filed to collect unemployment insurance benefits in May than in April.
Clallam County had 26,399 employed, 1,743 unemployed and 166 initial claims last month.
Jefferson County had 11,513 employed, 686 unemployed and 47 initial claims in May.
A person is counted as unemployed if he or she is able to work and has sought work in the past month.
King County had the state’s lowest unemployment in the state in May at 2.9 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.1 percent), San Juan (3.6 percent) and Whitman counties (3.6 percent).
Ferry County had the state’s highest unemployment at 10.1 percent, followed by Pacific (7.0 percent) and Grays Harbor (6.9 percent) counties.
Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.