(STAFF REPORTS/Chewelah Independent)
UPTICK: June unemployment highest in two years…
The June unemployment rate was 6.6 percent for Stevens County, the highest rate for the month in two years and a .4 percent uptick from May’s unemployment rate.
Washington’s Employment Security Department reported the statistics and showed the unemployment rate of 4.5 percent as the highest in two years in the state as well.
While just a few tenths of a percent higher than 2018, it continues to show a weird year for the unemployment rate locally. Four months out of the six recorded by the department had higher rates than in 2018 for Stevens County.
Still, the rate was much better than 2016, and just a half percent higher than the four-year low of 5.9 percent in June of 2017.
Compare that to June of 2009, after the Great Recession hit, and the rate was 12.4 percent.
In Washington’s July unemployment report, the state’s unemployment rate is higher than the nation’s. The U.S.’s unemployment rate is at 3.7 percent, while the states is at 4.6 percent. The national rate is down from 3.9 percent in July of 2018, while the state’s unemployment rate is up .2 percent from July 2018.
Unemployment remains very low in the Seatle/Bellevue/Everett area at 3.2 percent.
Washington added 10,900 jobs in the private sector last month and 2,500 jobs public jobs.
The biggest growth was an additional 2,500 government jobs, along with 2,100 professional and business service jobs, while leisure and hospitality also added 2,000 jobs. Construction also added 1,900 jobs in the state.
Retail trade lost 600 jobs.