Business Blog

Whatcom jobless rate at 5.8 percent in May

Whatcom County’s unemployment rate ticked up in May as more people entered the workforce.

Last month’s rate was estimated at 5.8 percent, up from 5.4 percent in April, according to data from the Washington State Employment Security Department. It marks the third straight month the rate was under 6 percent, something that hadn’t happened since the end of 2008.

The number of Whatcom County residents who have a job totaled 98,610, while 6,020 were actively seeking work, according to the data.

Construction continues to be adding jobs in Whatcom County. Last month, 6,900 people were employed in the industry, the highest monthly total since March 2009.

King and Snohomish counties had the lowest unemployment rates in the state, coming in at 3.7 and 4 percent, respectively. In Skagit County, the unemployment rate last month was 6.6 percent. Ferry County had the highest rate, at 9.9 percent.