Small Town News


Area unemployment rates creep upward

Deer Park Tribune of Deer Park, Washington

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While the state's estimated unemployment rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 7.8 percent in November, landing below 8 percent for the first time since January 2009, the jobless count in the Tri-County area crept upwards.

According to the state's Employment Security

Department, the unemployment rate in Spokane County in November was 7.7 percent, slightly higher than the 7.6 percent in October. Over the same period, Stevens County's jobless rate rose from 10.1 to 10.4 percent, while Pend Oreille County's jumped from 9.5 to 10.5 percent.

Lewis County had the state's highest November rate at 11.5 percent while Whitman had the lowest rate at 5.2 percent.

The statewide drop in unemployment from 8.2 percent in October was the largest one-month decline since November 1977.

At the same time, non-farm employment continued to climb, with an estimated net gain of 1,600 jobs last month, seasonally adjusted.

"Job growth appeared to slow in November, but the trend of the last three months is very positive," said Joe Elling, chief labor economist for Employment Security.

He noted that average monthly growth from August to November was 5,400. If maintained for a year, it would result in a growth rate of 2.3 percent.

Industries with the most estimated job gains in November were retail trade, which added 2,500 jobs; construction, up 1,400; leisure and hospitality, up 1,200; transportation, warehousing and utilities, up 800; education and health services, up 600 and manufacturing, up 400.

Industries with job losses last month included professional and business services, down 2,900; financial activities, down 1,300; wholesale trade, down 1,000; and government, down 800 jobs.

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Original Publication Date: January 2, 2013

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