Peninsula jobless rate rises ever so slightly

Unemployment inched up one-tenth of 1 percentage point on the North Olympic Peninsula last month as both counties saw little change in the number of workers or job seekers in August, state officials said.

Clallam County’s jobless rate went from a revised 6.9 percent in July to a preliminary 7.0 percent in August, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County’s unemployment rate went from a revised 6.2 percent in July to a preliminary 6.3 percent in August, Employment Security said.

Clallam County had 26,548 employed residents in August — up 10 from the previous month — and 2,000 who had sought work in the past four weeks, an increase of 21.

Clallam County’s jobless rate in August 2018 was 5.6 percent.

Jefferson County had 11,787 employed residents — a decrease of 16 from July — and 792 job seekers, a gain of six, according to state estimates.

Jefferson County’s jobless rate in August 2018 was 5.1 percent.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate remained at 4.6 percent in August, while national unemployment remained at 3.7 percent, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.

State employers added 2,300 jobs in August and 93,200 for the year, Employment Security said.

“The slower hiring in August tended to be broad-based with more industries shedding jobs than adding them” said Paul Turek, Employment Security economist.

“Coupled with the downward revision to July’s payroll numbers, today’s report shows weaker hiring since the start of the year.”

King County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 3.0 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.3 percent) and San Juan (3.6 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.8 percent, followed by Pend Oreille (9.5 percent) and Grays Harbor (7.4 percent) counties.

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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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