Peninsula jobless rates for March dip slightly

PORT ANGELES — North Olympic Peninsula unemployment rates dipped by 0.4 percentage points in March, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment went from a revised 8.7 percent in February to a preliminary 8.3 percent last month, the state Employment Security Department reported Tuesday.

Jefferson County’s jobless rate fell from a revised 7.8 percent in February to a preliminary 7.4 percent in March, according to the latest estimates.

The slight decrease in regional unemployment has continued since January, when Clallam County unemployment was 9.2 percent and Jefferson County unemployment was 7.9 percent.

Clallam County had 25,076 working residents and 2,274 unemployed citizens in March.

Jefferson County had 10,529 working and 838 unemployed last month.

Employment Security considers a person unemployed if he or she does not have a job, is available for work and has actively sought work in the past four weeks.

Jobs added

Clallam County employers have added 460 nonfarm jobs in the past year. Of those, 240 were government jobs and 220 were private-sector positions.

Jefferson County added 30 public-sector jobs and shed 40 in the private sector for a net loss of 10 jobs in the past year.

In March 2015, unemployment was 8.4 percent in Clallam County and 7.3 percent in Jefferson County.

Meanwhile, the statewide unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent in March while national unemployment went from 4.9 percent to 5.0 percent, according to Employment Security and the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

King County had the state’s lowest unemployment rate in March at 4.7 percent.

Ferry County in northeast Washington had the highest jobless rate at 12.5 percent.

The April employment report for counties is scheduled to be released May 24.

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

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