Whatcom unemployment falls—at 7 percent in September

Unemployment in Whatcom County dropped to a rate 7 percent in September, according to early estimates from the state Employment Security Department.

That’s below August’s revised rate (7.6 percent) and the unemployment level from September 2011 (7.7 percent).

Since last September, 3,100 private-sector nonfarm jobs have been added in Whatcom, along with 300 new government jobs.

Mining, logging and construction sectors have seen the largest gains, adding 900 new jobs in the past year.

The leisure and hospitality industry added 600 new jobs, and professional and business services have added 300.

State officials estimate there are 108,090 people in Whatcom County’s workforce, up more by 3,300 from one year ago.

Elsewhere in northwest Washington, Skagit County’s preliminary unemployment estimate for last month was 8.5 percent, Island County was 7.8 percent, and Snohomish County was 7.6 percent.

San Juan County posted the lowest unemployment rate in the region, and in the state, with 5.3 percent.

Grays Harbor and Ferry counties tied for the highest rate statewide—at 12 percent.

State officials reported last week that Washington’s statewide unemployment rate was 8.5 percent, seasonally adjusted.

Unemployment rates at the county level are not seasonally adjusted due to the small sample sizes, according to the Employment Security Department, so they should not be compared directly to the seasonally adjusted statewide rate.

More detailed information is available on the Employment Security Department’s website.

Contact Evan Marczynski at evan@bbjtoday.com or call 360-647-8805. 

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