Peninsula jobless rate drops in October

The jobless rate continued to fall on the North Olympic Peninsula in October.

The state Employment Security Department (ESD) reported Tuesday that Clallam County’s unemployment rate for October 2020 was 6.8 percent — ninth-highest among the state’s 39 counties.

Jefferson County’s rate was 6.5 percent for October.

State officials have said that job growth is expected to be slower in winter months than in the rest of the year and that COVID-19 could affect future employment.

Downward trend

But the jobless rate has been decreasing since summer.

Clallam County unemployment dipped from a revised 9.6 percent in August to a preliminary 8.4 percent in September, according to last month’s report.

Jefferson County’s jobless rate went from a revised 8.8 percent in August to a preliminary 7.8 percent in September, according to that report.

Clallam County’s labor force was 30,157 with 2,059 unemployed.

Jefferson County’s labor force was 13,331 with 860 unemployed, the state said.

Washington state’s economy added 1,000 jobs in October and the state’s preliminary seasonally adjusted monthly unemployment rate for October decreased from 8.3 percent to 6 percent.

“The preliminary read on October payroll employment shows a very small increase once more,” said Paul Turek, economist for the department.

“Upward revisions to the data in recent months show a stronger recovery, but renewed restrictions on business operations in response to mounting virus risk put the recovery in jeopardy.”

Federal estimates

ESD released the preliminary job estimates from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics as part of its monthly employment report.

The national unemployment rate decreased from 7.9 percent in September to 6.9 percent in October 2020.

In October 2019, the national unemployment rate (revised) was 3.6 percent.

ESD paid unemployment insurance benefits to 453,798 people in October, a decrease of 99,489 over the previous month.

The state’s labor force in October was 3,989,000 — an increase of 60,700 people from the previous month.

From October 2019 through October 2020, the state’s labor force increased by 42,600, and the Seattle/Bellevue/Everett region decreased by 40,700.

The labor force is the total number of people, both employed and unemployed, over the age of 16.

From September 2020 to October 2020, the number of people who were unemployed statewide decreased from 326,000 to 238,600.

Private sector employment increased by 14,100 jobs while government employment decreased by 13,100 jobs.

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