Peninsula labor force, jobless rate grows

The North Olympic Peninsula labor force grew by 334 last month while Clallam and Jefferson county unemployment rose by nearly 1 percentage point in June, state officials said.

Clallam County unemployment climbed from a revised 6.1 percent in May to a preliminary 7.0 percent in June, the state Employment Security Department reported on July 22.

Clallam County had 26,330 residents who were working in June and 1,981 who were out of a job and had sought work in the past month, state officials said.

Both counties saw their labor forces expand last month. Clallam County had 188 more residents who were working or seeking work from May to June while Jefferson County’s labor force grew by 146.

Meanwhile, the seasonally-adjusted statewide unemployment rate remained at 4.6 percent in June despite a gain of 6,000 jobs.

National unemployment went from 3.6 percent to 3.7 percent.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics said state employers added 6,000 jobs in June and 82,700 jobs for the year.

“Employment continues to expand at a healthy pace,” said Paul Turek, an Employment Security economist.

“The rise in payroll jobs over the past few months has generated more opportunities for new entrants to the labor force.”

Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted.

King County had the lowest unemployment in the state in June at 2.9 percent, followed by Snohomish (3.1 percent) and San Juan (3.8 percent) counties.

Ferry County had the highest unemployment rate at 10.5 percent, followed by Grays Harbor (7.3 percent) and Pacific (7.3 percent) counties.

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