Stevens County has the lowest unemployment rate in the Tri-County area, according to the Washington State Employment Security Department. In the July 2016 report, the ESD reports that unemployment sits at 8.2 percent which is lower than four counties in the state.
Ferry County has the highest unemployment rate in the state at 10.1 percent, while Pend Oreille had the state’s second-highest at 9.2 percent. The statewide average is 5.8 percent seasonally adjusted.
In Washington, the number of jobs increased by 2,600 from June to July. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that the private sector lost 1,000 jobs while the public sector gained 3,600 jobs. Estimates for July 2015 through July 2016 indicate an increase in employment of 100,000 for the state. The private sector added 88,300 jobs while the public sector gained an estimated 11,700 jobs over the year.
The unemployment for Stevens County was 7.6 percent in May. That same month, unemployment was 9.2 percent in Ferry, 8.2 percent in Pend Oreille.
County unemployment rates are published each month, based on a schedule set by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics. Statewide data and data for King-Snohomish counties are released in the second or third week of each month, then data are published the following week for all other counties.
By The Independent Staff