Peninsula jobless rate falls to lowest in years

By Rob Ollikainen
Peninsula Daily News

Unemployment fell to the lowest rate in several years on the North Olympic Peninsula last month despite the loss of 130 jobs in Clallam and Jefferson counties.

Clallam County’s unemployment rate fell from a revised 8.9 percent in September to a preliminary 8.7 percent in October, according to the latest state estimates.

Jefferson County unemployment fell from a revised 8.8 percent in September to a preliminary 8.6 percent in October, the lowest it has been since October 2009.

The reason unemployment rates went down in both counties is because more people are commuting to larger counties for work, said Elizabeth Court, regional economist for the state Employment Security Department

Court said the Clallam County jobless rate hasn’t been this low since it was 8.4 percent in December 2008.

‘A pretty big deal’

“That’s great news,” she said.

“That’s really a pretty big deal.”

Despite the dip in unemployment, Clallam County shed 70 jobs last month, losing 230 in the private sector while gaining 160 in government.

Jefferson County shed 130 private-sector jobs and gained 70 in the public sector for a net loss of 60 jobs.

There were 2,490 job-seekers among Clallam County’s 28,450-member workforce in October.

Jefferson County had 1,010 residents seeking jobs out of a workforce of 11,740.

Unemployment rates don’t reflect those who have stopped trying to find a job.

The state unemployment rate went from 8.5 percent to 8.2 percent in October with a gain of 6,700 jobs.

The national unemployment rate went from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent last month.

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Reporter Rob Ollikainen can be reached at 360-452-2345, ext. 5072, or at rollikainen@peninsuladailynews.com.

Last modified: November 20. 2012 5:52PM
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