Peninsula employment up

Unemployment rates dipped on the North Olympic Peninsula for the second time in as many months in March, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment fell from a revised 8.0 percent in February to a preliminary 7.5 percent in March, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County unemployment dropped from a revised 7.2 percent in February to a preliminary 6.5 percent last month, according to the latest estimates.

Clallam County had 25,654 working residents and 2,076 active job seekers in March, Employment Security said.

Jefferson County had 10,739 working citizens and 752 seeking work last month.

Unemployment rates in both counties were more than one percentage point higher in January, at 8.6 percent in Clallam County and 7.6 percent in Jefferson County.

Meanwhile, statewide unemployment dipped from 4.9 percent in February to 4.7 percent in March — the lowest jobless rate since August 2007.

The state’s private sector gained 11,400 jobs and the public sector lost 700 jobs for the month, Employment Security said.

National unemployment fell from 4.7 percent in February to 4.5 percent in March, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

King County had the lowest unemployment in the state last month at 3.1 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.5 percent), San Juan (4.6 percent) and Whitman (4.6 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment in the state at 13.0 percent, followed by Okanogan (9.5 percent), Stevens (9.4 percent) and Pend Oreille (9.3 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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