Whatcom's August unemployment at 7.7 percent, up from July

Whatcom County’s unemployment rose in August—state economists placed it at 7.7 percent, non-seasonally adjusted.

Data showed a jump in August from July’s rate of 7.4 percent. Year-over-year, the month’s rate was below the 8.3 percent posted in August 2011.

Statewide, the rate was at 8.5 percent. Nationally, it was 8.2 percent.

The county’s workforce grew between July and August from 108,280 to 109,190 people—490 new jobs were created, while unemployed residents actively seeking work grew by 420.

Government sectors led August job losses in the county. Retail also posted losses.

Private industries, particularly manufacturing and natural resources/mining showed growth.

Surrounding Whatcom County, Skagit County had 9.3 percent unemployment in August. Island County was at 8.5 percent.

San Juan County’s rate was 5.1 percent, which was the lowest throughout the state.

Ferry County, in eastern Washington, has the highest statewide rate at 13.3 percent.

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

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