Peninsula gains jobs and job seekers

Unemployment climbs slightly

The North Olympic Peninsula gained 463 jobs and 65 job seekers in July as Clallam and Jefferson county unemployment rates each rose by one tenth of 1 percentage point, state officials estimated Tuesday.

Clallam County’s jobless rate went from a revised 6.9 percent in June to a preliminary 7.0 percent in July despite a gain of 262 jobs, the Employment Security Department said.

The Clallam County unemployment rate was the fourth highest in the state last month, according to the report.

Jefferson County unemployment went from a revised 6.2 percent in June to a preliminary 6.3 percent in July despite the gain of 201 jobs, Employment Security said.

Unemployment rose slightly in both counties because more people had joined the labor force.

There were 26,601 Clallam County residents working in July and 1,994 who were unemployed, up 44 from June.

Jefferson County had 11,771 employed residents in July and 792 seeking work, up 21 from June.

A person is counted as unemployed if she or she is available for work and has actively sought work in the past four weeks.

Meanwhile, state employers added 13,400 jobs in July as Washington’s unemployment rate remained at 4.6 percent.

“Ordinarily this amount of gain in payroll employment would serve to chip away at the unemployment rate” said Paul Turek, Employment Security economist, “but the rate remained unchanged as labor force participation edged up again.”

The state has seen an increase of 86,400 jobs for the year.

The national unemployment rate also was unchanged in July, holding steady at 3.7 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

King County had the lowest unemployment in the state in July at 3.1 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.3 percent) and San Juan (3.5 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment rate last month at 9.8 percent, followed by Pend Oreille (7.4 percent) and Grays Harbor (7.1 percent) counties, Employment Security said.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 56450, or at [email protected] dailynews.com.

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