Whatcom County’s unemployment rate at 5.3 percent in September

Whatcom County’s unemployment rate remained steady heading into fall.

Last month’s unemployment was 5.3 percent, the same as the August revised rate, according to data from the Washington State Employment Security Department. It’s the fifth time in the past six months that the county unemployment rate was below 6 percent.

Year over year, the local workforce has steadily improved. The number of Whatcom County residents working last month totaled 96,610, up 1,100 compared to a year ago. The number of people actively seeking work last month was 5,360, down 880 compared to September 2013.

Across the state, 10 counties posted unemployment rates of 5 percent or lower last month. San Juan County posted the lowest at 3.7 percent. King County came in at 4.8 percent, while Skagit was 5.9 percent. The highest rate was in Grays Harbor, at 8.8 percent.