Whatcom County unemployment rises in February

The unemployment rate for Whatcom County rose from 9.3 percent in January to 9.6 percent (not seasonally adjusted) in February, according to new data from the Employment Security Department.

Furthermore, the data does not indicate that job losses have slowed or bottomed out. Total private nonfarm employment remained flat at an estimated 76,400 jobs in January and February, showing a year-over-year decline of 1.3 percent. Employment in Whatcom County briefly dropped this low in August 2010, but before that, employment hadn’t been this low since 2004.

The only job sectors that saw year-over-year gains in Whatcom County were manufacturing, up 4 percent, and leisure and hospitality, which rose by 3.4 percent.

Whatcom County is still below the statewide 9.8 percent unemployment rate, while other western Washington counties are above. For February, Skagit County reported 11.3 percent unemployment and Snohomish County reported 10.3 percent.

To view the full report, visit the Employment Security Department website.


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