County's February unemployment at 8.5 percent, according to Employment Security Department

Whatcom County’s unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in February, slightly above the statewide and national averages, according to reports released March 27 by the Washington State Employment Security Department.

Whatcom’s rate was lower than surrounding counties in northwest Washington. Skagit County’s rate was 10.7 percent, San Juan County was at 9 percent and Island County was at 9.3 percent.

Ferry County, in northeastern Washington, led the state with 15.7 percent unemployment in February. Whitman County, bordering Idaho in the southeast corner of the state, had the lowest rate at 6.6 percent.

The statewide rate was 8.2 percent, just below the nationwide average of 8.3 percent.

State officials post monthly employment data online at www.esd.wa.gov/employmentdata.

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