Whatcom unemployment remains steady at 7.3 percent

Posted by DAVE GALLAGHER on August 20, 2013 

Whatcom County's unemployment rate remained steady between June and July, despite continued growth in private sector jobs.

The local unemployment rate last month was 7.3 percent, the same rate as the revised number in June, according to data from the state Employment Security Department. The July rate is lower than a year ago, when it was at 7.7 percent.

Jobs in private industries increased for the sixth straight month, with 67,800 Whatcom County residents now employed in that sector. That's the highest monthly total since November 2008, according to the data.

When other sectors including government, farming and those who live here but work outside Whatcom County are factored in, the number of people working totals 95,030, down 1,130 from a year ago.

Whatcom's unemployment rate in July remained below Skagit County (8.4 percent), but higher than Snohomish (5.6 percent) and King (5.1 percent) counties.

San Juan County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state at 4.9 percent, while Ferry County had the highest, at 11.9 percent.

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