(BRANDON HANSEN/Chewelah Independent)
GOOD NUMBERS: State, federal and area numbers see unemployment numbers continue to drop…
The December unemployment report came out last month, showcasing a Washington unemployment rate of 3.9 percent – its lowest in the four-year bar graph provided by the Employment Security Department.
Historically, the state has seen an uptick in unemployment in Decemeber from November, but this year it dropped from 4 percent to 3.9 percent. Four years ago, the unemployment rate for Washington was 5.1 percent.
Washington’s private sector gained 9,800 jobs while the public sector gained 1,100 jobs. From December 2018 to 2019, the state has added 77,800 jobs.
Retail trade added 3,300 jobs, while professional and business services added 2,600 jobs and construction gained 1,200 jobs. Mining and logging lost 100 jobs while wholesale trade dropped 700 jobs.
Recently, a jobs report shows that the U.S. added 225K jobs in January and the unemployment rate was at 3.6 percent – a slight uptick from the 50-year low of 3.5 percent in the nation in December.
Stevens County saw its lowest December unemployment rate in years, coming in at 7.2 percent. In 2018 the unemployment rate was 7.7 percent and in 2017, the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent.
Of the 19,759 members of the Stevens County workforce, 1,415 were unemployed.
Stevens County has the lowest unemployment rate in NE Washington, at 7.2 percent. Pend Oreille had a rate of 8.5 percent, Okanogan had a 8.2 percent mark and Ferry County was the highest with an unemployment rate of 10.6 percent.
Spokane’s unemployment rate for December was 5 percent while King County was the lowest it has been in years. The unemployment rate dropped to 2.1 percent for King County, lower than last year’s 3.3 percent.