Unemployment rises to 7.9 percent in Whatcom County

The Bellingham Business Journal

Whatcom County’s unemployment rate rose from 7.5 percent in October to 7.9 percent in November, which is typical this time of year as seasonal employment ends, according to a recent Employment Security Department report.

Whatcom County is still faring better than the state average, though, which held steady at 9.2 percent in November. (October’s rate was revised from 9.1 percent to 9.2 percent after more analysis.)

“Job growth is in a holding pattern,” said Employment Security Commissioner Paul Trause in a press release. “It underscores why unemployed workers are having a hard time finding jobs and why we need to extend federal emergency unemployment benefits for a while longer.”

Statewide industries that added jobs last month included education and health services, up 800; and professional and business services, up 700. The major contributor to job losses in the state was the construction industry, which lost 2,100 jobs last month.

So far in 2010, Washington has added 10,300 private sector jobs. Factoring in a substantial loss of government jobs, there has been an estimated net gain of 6,200 jobs during the past 11 months.

Click here to read the full report.


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