Whatcom's unemployment rate rises in May

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJune 25, 2013 

WASHINGTON EMPLOYMENT SECURITY DEPT.

Whatcom's unemployment rate moved upward last month as more residents began actively seeking work.

The local unemployment rate in May was 7.2 percent, up from a revised rate of 6.7 percent in April, according to the latest data from the Washington State Employment Security Department.

The number of people employed locally totaled 96,440 in May, nearly unchanged from April, when 96,470 were employed. The number of people actively seeking work rose from 6,960 in April to 7,500 in May.

Nonfarm private sector employment rose by 600 between April and May, to 66,800, according to the report, making it the highest monthly total since December 2008. Much of that growth came in the construction industry, which added 300 people between April and May. In the past year, 1,800 people were added to private sector employment.

Whatcom had the eighth lowest unemployment rate among Washington's 39 counties. King County had the lowest rate last month, at 4.3 percent, followed by Snohomish at 4.7 percent.

The highest rate in the state was in Grays Harbor, at 12.2 percent. Skagit County's unemployment rate was 8.5 percent in May.

The seasonally adjusted state unemployment rate was 6.8 percent last month, while the U.S. rate was 7.6 percent.

Reach Business Editor Dave Gallagher at 360-715-2269 or dave.gallagher@bellinghamherald.com. Read his Business blog at blogs.bellinghamherald.com/business or follow him on Twitter at @bhamheraldbiz.

Bellingham Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service