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Whatcom unemployment rate rises slightly in July

Whatcom County's unemployment rate nudged upward in July but remained below the state average.

The local rate was 5.3 percent last month, up from 5.1 percent in June, according to data from the Washington State Employment Security Department. While up from June, the rate is down from a year ago, when it was 6.8 percent.

Whatcom County had 5,430 people actively seeking work last month, up 160 people from June but down 1,610 compared to a year ago.

Nearby counties also continued to post low unemployment rates. King County checked in at 4.9 percent in July, while Skagit County came in at 5.8 percent. San Juan County had the lowest rate in the state, at 3.3 percent.

Three counties posted the highest rate in the state: Ferry, Lewis and Grays Harbor all came in at 8.2 percent.

The overall state rate, seasonably adjusted, was 5.6 percent in July, while the national unemployment rate was 6.2 percent.

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